Kazakhstani human rights advocate Vadim Kuramshin, who is currently serving a 12-year sentence in a penal colony in North Kazakhstan, has gone on hunger strike.
As his defence lawyer, Dmitriy Baranov reports, Kuramshin demands an immediate transfer to a different penal facility and medical care. According to RFE/RL, Kuramshin also maintains that authorities of the colony, where he is currently being held, are using other prisoners to beat, humiliate and threaten him.
In Kazakhstan, Vadim Kuramshin is chiefly known for his work defending prisoners’ rights. It was he who exposed numerous cases of cruelty against inmates in penal facilities across Kazakhstan. Charged with attempted bribery and extortion, he was sentenced on 7 December 2012 to 12 years’ imprisonment in a restricted-regime facility with confiscation of property.
In 2013 Kuramshin was awarded the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize, for civil activists and human rights advocates.