Central Asia: Kazakh playwright's arrest sparks criticism, protest

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BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — An internationally acclaimed playwright slated for a top German culture award is among those targeted in the latest round of arrests following an oil workers strike in Kazakhstan in December, prompting criticism from German officials.

“He supported the demonstrations and it was absolutely great that he did that,” said German lawmaker Viola von Cramon, referring to Kazakh playwright Bolat Atabayev, who was arrested June 15. “I guess he will be punished for that now.”

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