Aron Atabek

Aron Atabek is a dissident poet and writer in Kazhakstan. He was jailed for 18 years after being convicted in 2007 of orchestrating a mass protest against the demolition of a workers’ shanty-town, Shanirak, a charge he vehemently denies.

He rejected an offer by the government of a pardon if he admitted his guilt, and continues to vehemently proclaim his innocence.

‘Nazarbayev’s Regime and Revolution’ is a collection of Atabek’s prose and poetry published online since his imprisonment. His works are highly critical of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, and his policies, lamenting the lack of democracy in this former Soviet nation.

Atabek is a former recipient of the Imprisoned Prize, an honour which has also been awarded to Burmese comedian Zarganar and Burmese poet/performance artist Saw Wei.



Imprisoned Prize – Winner 2010

A Girl from Shanirak
I have my own “Aidana”.
This name is a Tengri symbol:
Ai-Dana is a Wisdom of the Moon.
But, another Aidana, from Yili,
Dedicated her poem to a prisoner.
In this poem – a burning Shanirak…
In this poem – both a friend and a foe…
We, the kazakhs, lost our Land,
Even the girl from Yili
Realizes that this is The End,
The heart is torn by the bullet.
To give away the Kazakhs’ Land to the strangers,
This is like – selling one’s own Mother,
This is like – forcing one’s Father to become a tramp,
This is to accept the regime of the bastard!
And to destroy the heart of the sacred home land,
And to doom the people to the darkness,
And to make their children orphans,
Tearing the hearts of their mothers.
We, the kazakhs, are an ancient nation,
But we are ruled by the Tyrant, the Ugly,
He sold everything there is to sell,
He took away everything there is to take away.
Literal translation from Russian by Alfia Nakipbekova

CELLORHYTMICS, a benefit event for Kazhakstan miners on October 2 at 7pm, takes place at Baptist Bloomsbury Central Church 235 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8EP.

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2 Responses to Aron Atabek

    1. …and continues to vehemently deny his innocence…

      He proclaims his innocence or denies his guilt.

      Comment by Bruce on 25 September, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    2. Thanks Bruce.

      Comment by Editor on 26 September, 2012 at 2:37 pm

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