Yuri Pak was released from prison on June 17th. Yuri, a teacher, dean of a high school and local church leader was sentenced to two years in prison, after being convicted of making a false emergency services call. The accusations began in April 2015, when someone used Yuri's mobile phone to make a prank phone call to Kazakhstan's emergency services. (A previous report may be reviewed here.)
Authorities were quick to charge Yuri with making a bomb threat during that call and arrested him. Yet, during trial, the "evidence" against him was a two-minute-long recording of a man who was obviously drunk and using rough prison jargon. Expert witnesses testified that the caller's voice did not match Yuri's. Additionally, the caller makes reference to having spent ten years in prison and being angry at police. Yuri had not been in prison.
As a testimony to his character, Yuri's students came to his trial to support him. His pastor also wrote a letter of support and various local news stations reported on the spurious trial. Yet, even with all that support, he was sentenced to two years in prison, apparently in retaliation against his involvement in a Christian church.
While Yuri was in prison, many people wrote letters of support to him through VOM's website: www.prisoneralert.com. Yuri's wife Olga, responded by expressing her gratitude: "Our family is extremely grateful to each one of you for your prayers...words of encouragement and faith. (They) helped us to go through this difficult trial without losing our faith and courage. We believe that your labour is not in vain before the Lord."