"Kharlamov's ordeal has dragged on for too long," Reporters Without Borders said. "After six months in pre-trial detention, including several weeks in a psychiatric clinic against his will, no hard evidence has been produced to support the grave accusations made against him.

"We hope that, after the additional investigation requested by the prosecution, the judicial authorities will recognize that the charges were trumped-up and will compensate him. The growing use of enforced psychiatric hospitalization for dissidents highlights the disturbant reemergence of the worst Soviet practices in support of Kazakhstan's current crackdown."