NUR-SULTAN -- The leader of Kazakhstan's unregistered El Tiregi (People's Pillar) party has been charged with violating the law on public gatherings following a protest rally in the capital, Nur-Sultan.
Party activists told RFE/RL that Nurzhan Altaev was briefly detained by police at the September 7 event and charged the next day.
They said at least six El Tiregi members were sentenced to jail terms of between seven and 15 days after being detained in a group of around 25 people when police dispersed the rally.
The demonstrators were demanding the government's resignation, protesting against forced COVID-19 vaccination, and demanding the government abandon plans to build a new nuclear plant.
Two leading members of the party, Union of the Soviet-Afghan War Veterans in Kazakhstan Chairman Murat Mukhametzhanov and lawyer Nursultan Ermakhanov, were detained the day before the rally and jailed for 10 and 15 days, respectively.
Altaev quit the ruling Nur-Otan party and announced the creation of El Tiregi in late November 2020, saying no genuine opposition political forces were represented in the current parliament.