On March 1, in London, UK MP Margaret Hodge, who last month argued for sanctions against Kazakhstan’s “kleptocratic elite”, stated on March 1 that restrictions should be imposed not only on Moscow, but also on Kazakhstan’s leadership who were »supporting» Russian President Putin1.
March 1, Batyrbayev Azamat, the lawyer of Batyrbayev Azamat, who was arrested after the toppling of the monument to ex-President Nazarbayev in Taldykorgan, reported that the person suspected of torturing Batyrbayev had been detained. This is a police officer holding the position of criminal investigator2.
On March 1, in Nur-Sultan, poet Suleimenov Olzhas and astronaut Aubakirov Tokhtar attended a meeting of the unregistered popular environmental party “Baitak-Bolashak”. The meeting was devoted to the registration of the party with the justice authorities3.
On March 1, in Zhanaozen, employees of the ambulance station started a protest action by not going to work. The reason for the protest was low pay. The agency called the medical workers’ strike illegal, officials referred to Article 320 of the Criminal Code, failure to provide medical care without a valid excuse4.
On March 2, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Labor and Social Protection ShapkenovSerik, responding to Azattyk’s question about medical workers’ demands in Zhanaozen, said that “the issue of increasing wages was a matter of employer-employee relations».5
March 2, Nur-Sultan, “To date, 101 criminal cases against 162 defendants have been sent to court. 62 persons have been sentenced in Kazakhstan in connection with the January events,» said Ozharov Rizabek Ozharov, a representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office, at a briefing»6.
On March 2, in Almaty, Tleuzhanova Aigerim, Article 488, Part 7 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, she was placed under arrest for 15 days for having called in «Facebook» for an unauthorized peaceful rally in Almaty on 13 February at 12:00 in memory of the victims of «QANTAR2022 «7.
March 2, Almaty, Turymbetov Marat, Article 488 Part 7 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK was fined 107,205 tenge for having called on his Facebook page to participate in an unauthorized meeting in Almaty on 13 February 2022, at noon in memory of «QANTAR2022» victims8.
March 2, Almaty, Bulat Abilov, Article 488, Part 7 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK, was fined 153150 tenge for posting on Facebook and a video message on YouTube urging citizens to gather on Republic Square on February 13, 2022 to hold a meeting in memory of the «QANTAR2022» victims9.
March 2, Nur-Sultan, the UK Ambassador to Kazakhstan has been invited to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry to provide clarifications on a proposal by a member of the United Kingdom parliament to impose sanctions against Kazakhstan’s leadership, said Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Shakhrat Nuryshev10.
On March 2, in Taldykorgan, residents held an action against the cancellation of children’s sections. The reason was that since March 1, 2022 in the region the funding of children’s sports sections under the Artsport program was stopped. The leaders of children’s centers, clubs and sections received a notice from the Department of Culture notifying them of the decision to stop funding11.
On March 2, in Nur-Sultan, the Nur-Otan party was officially renamed to the Amanat party. It was based on the proposal of the deputy Koshanov who said that “the old name of the party was associated with the name of ex-President Nazarbayev”12.
On March 3, in Semey, the activists were refused to hold a rally on March 6, 2022. During the rally it was planned to discuss the police misconduct, inaction of the Prosecutor’s Office of Semey and the dismissal of the Regional Akim Akhmetov D., Akim of Semey Bayakhmetov B., and the Secretary of the City Maslikhat Akzhalov B. The organizers of the rally were a former deputy of the Semey Maslikhat, entrepreneur Khazipov Rafail and activist Mashpiev Rollan13.
On March 3, in Almaty, Kairat Nurkadilov, the son of opposition politician Zamanbek Nurkadilov, has filed a statement with the Prosecutor General’s Office in which he demands that his father’s death be investigated as a case of political murder14.
On March 3, in Aktobe, Akimat refused Smirnova Olga’s request to hold a rally on 8 March 2022 with the demand to lower the retirement age for women from 63 to 58 years. This refusal was based on the fact that a cultural event was held at the place of the rally15.
On March 3, in the Almaty region, residents of the village of Avat blocked the road of garbage trucks, demanding to close the local solid waste landfill. The protest was caused by the environmental deterioration in the village caused by solid waste incineration in the summertime16.
On March 3, in Petropavlovsk, the pre-trial investigation of the criminal case under Article 158 of the Criminal Code of the RK for interference in the professional activities of the journalists of Khabar-24 TV channel was reopened17.
March 3, “Numerous complaints of torture from detainees during and after the January events merely confirm the depravity of a system characterized by widespread impunity for torture”, says human rights activist Elena Semenova18.
March 3, Karaganda Region, Radio Azattyk does not agree with the decision of a specialized court, which banned a correspondent present at the open trial from covering the case of the contract killing of activist Baktybaev Galy. The editorial board believes that this prohibition is a form of censorship, which is constitutionally forbidden, and will challenge it in the Supreme Court19.
March 3, Nur-Sultan, “The President has stated the importance of rooting out such medieval phenomena as torture and ill-treatment. The Prosecutor General’s Office has been instructed to develop proposals to increase accountability for inhumane treatment of detainees and prisoners”,the Kazakh president’s press service reported20.
March 3, Almaty, Adilbekov Sayat, Article 272 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, the prosecutor dismissed the petition to close the criminal case, since “investigative actions are conducted to determine the property damage caused during the mass riots, and a number of forensic examinations have been scheduled”21.
On March 4, in Kyzylorda region, Facility LA-169/5, Yelshibayev Yerzhan, Article 106 Part 2 p.7 of the Criminal Code of the RK, was taken to the hospital after protesting in the prison. In the evening of March 3, 2022, there was a video on the Internet in which Yelshibaev said that he was ready to go to extremes of protest in prison as a result of pressure exerted by the prison administration22.
March 4, Almaty, after 14 years, the murder of journalist Oralgaysha Oralshanova, Director of the Anti-Corruption Department of the national newspaper “Zakon I Pravosudie” was solved. The murderer, the criminal mastermind “Serik-Golova” confessed to the murder and showed the burial place; the expertise confirmed the identity of the murdered woman23.
On March 4, in Aktobe, lawyer Beisenbayev Kanat filed a complaint against the activities of the investigation team. He is a lawyer of Zhanna Yesmurzaeva, who was detained after the January events. The investigation team has carried out a complex psychological and psychiatric examination of Yesmurzaeva; according to the lawyer, there were no grounds for the appointment of such an examination24.
March 4, Almaty, Duisebayeva Aruzhan, Article 488 Part 11, the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan was fined 153,315 tenge for her participation in an unauthorized meeting in memory of the victims of the January events on Republic Square on February 13, 2022.
March 4, Aktobe, Shamuratov Kuat, Article 272 Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the RK, the court extended the detention in custody of the activist who was detained after the January events for another month. Shamuratov allegedly suspected of organizing mass riots25.
On March 4, in Baikonur, activist Dauletbaev Marat was going to hold a solitary picket against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He was detained and taken to the police station, where he had been held for three hours and “warned” not to perform any actions of a similar nature. He was released after passing an alcohol test26.
On March 5, in Shymkent city, the Akimat denied two female residents the right to hold pickets where they intended to demand the release of their husbands from custody. Their husbands, Ashtayev Zhanmurat and Sultanbek Kairat, were put in custody as suspects in the criminal proceedings that had been brought in connection with the January events27.
March 5, Nur-Sultan, “As of today, 669 people are still in pre-trial detention facilities, 56 detainees have bodily injuries. Four people are receiving medical treatment because of their injuries”, said a representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office Berik Asylov 28.
March 5, Kazakhstani Fund started paying compensation to the families of 19 killed and 106 seriously wounded employees of government agencies. The total amount of payments for this category of victims amounts to 451 million tenge29.
On March 6, in the Mangistau region, Beineu village, Baidakov Yergali was on his way to the place of anti-war action, but he was detained by police officers with the use of force. He was brought to the police station, and two hours later he was released30.
On March 6, Nur-Sultan city, Tastayev Nursultan, a cab driver, got to work. At about 9 a.m., at the intersection of Turan and Uly-dala streets, he was stopped by three men in civilian clothes, who detained him by force and took him to thePolice Station No. 15; three hours later he was released. 31.
March 6, Almaty, list of activists harassed on the eve of a nationwide peaceful rally on March 6 in support of Ukraine against the Russian occupation. Police officers obstructed civil activists from going to the venue of the rally32.
March 6, Kokshetau, the list of persecuted activists on the eve of the anti-war rally. All of the listed civil activists were held in the Department of Internal Affairs for more than 3 hours, later they were all released33.
March 6, Ekibastuz, activists Amrenovs Kaliaskar and Zarlyk were detained while heading to the Akimat on the day of the nationwide peaceful rally on March 6 in support of Ukraine against the Russian occupation34.
March 6, Berlin, activists once again urged an independent investigation of the January events in Kazakhstan and voiced their solidarity with Ukraine in the war35.
On March 6, in Almaty, an authorized rally against the war in Ukraine and Russia’s military aggression was held outside the Saryarka Theater. About 4,000 people gathered in the square. The protesters were holding banners and chanting anti-war slogans. The protesters’ main demand was the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine36.
On March 6, in Almaty, activist Salima Kagazbaeva was not allowed to take part in an authorized peaceful anti-war rally. Kagazbaeva got into a trolley bus, but police and NSC officers detained her and prevented her from attending the rally37.
On March 7, Almaty city akimat rejected feminist activists’ request to hold a march in «Protection of Women’s Rights» on March 8, but authorized a rally on Valikhanov Square. The reason for this was that the municipal services were carrying out repair and installation works in the places where the march was being held38.
On March 7, civil activists held an action demanding to immediately stop political persecution of Sadyrbayeva Raigul under article 272 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK for her human rights activities and to release her39.
On March 8, in Almaty, there was a rally for women’s rights, which was held in Valikhanov Square and attended by about a thousand people. Discussion of women’s rights and their participation in the political life of Kazakhstan was the main topic of the rally40.
On March 8, in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Aktobe, women rallied to demand a lowering of the retirement age for women from 63 to 58. The posters of the protesters in all three cities read “Movement of Women of Kazakhstan for the Reduction of the Pension Age to 58”41.
On March 8, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned the “excessive use of force in Kazakhstan, both in connection with peaceful protests and with outbreaks of violence” during the January events in which at least 227 people were killed and thousands were injured42.
March 9, in Nur-Sultan, Deputy Ashimzhanov Zhanarbek in his request to the Prosecutor General inquired about the status of the investigation of the January events. “When will the criminal proceedings be completed, when will it be submitted to the court and, in general, what was going on in those days? These are the kinds of questions the public is asking. Therefore, the appropriate security agencies, should visit the Majilis and answer them”, said Ashimzhanov43.
On March 9, in Atyrau, in a pre-trial detention center, eight persons under investigation for the “January events” went on hunger strike. All of them disagree with the charges that were brought against them, besides, in some cases, the sanction trials were held on weekends without the participation of defense attorneys44.
March 9, Zhezkazgan, facility AK 159/25, Muratkhan Tokmadi, Article 96 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, who was charged with murder of Yerzhan Tatishev, Head of the BTA Bank commissioned by Mukhtar Ablyazov, wrote an open letter to President Tokayev that he has admitted his guilt and called M. Ablyazov the one who ordered the murder under torture45.
On March 9, in Nur-Sultan, community activists held a meeting to announce the beginning of work on holding a referendum on withdrawal from the Eurasian Economic Union. They elected Dauletbekuly Amandyk, a civil activist, as the secretary of the event, and he drafted the documents and announced the establishment of an action team46.
On March 9, in Almaty, Dostiyarov-Abzal, Article 488 Part 11 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK, was placed under 20 days of arrest for participating in the march on February 13 during the mourning rally on Republic Square.
On March 9, 82 criminal cases related to the January events were submitted to the courts of Almaty. The main part of the cases was considered under Article 188 of the Criminal Code of the RK “Theft with unlawful entry into the official premises”. Sentences were handed down in 41 criminal cases. Most of the defendants were sentenced to restriction of liberty from two to four years; some of them were sentenced to community service47.
On March 9, in Nur-Sultan, the Majilis approved on second reading the draft amendments to some legislative acts of Kazakhstan on the issues of children’s rights protection, education, information and informatization, which provides requirements for the removal of illegal content in social networks. The social network is required to appoint a representative, who, upon receipt of an order from the Ministry of Information and Social Development, will be obliged to remove the unlawful content within 24 hours48.
On March 9, in Atyrau, eight persons arrested in connection with the January events officially went on hunger strike in the city’s detention center, human rights activist Daria Ulzhagalieva, who visited those arrested, reported49.
March 10, Kazakhstan was added to the Watchlist following mass detentions and allegations of torture. Kazakhstan was included in the list of countries with rapidly decreasing levels of civil liberties. Following the January protests, the government continues to repress peaceful protesters, civil society activists, opposition party supporters, and independent journalists50.
March 10, Almaty, A “shoot-to-kill” order has not been cancelled. On February 11, 2022 we made an official request to the President of Kazakhstan Mr. K. Tokayev, to the Prosecutor General, Defense Minister, Chairman of the National Security Committee, Interior Minister and Ombudsman, in order to clarify whether a “shoot-to-kill” order, which was announced on January 7, 2022, in a televised address to the people of Kazakhstan has been officially cancelled. If the order has been cancelled, then what date (number, date) and on what grounds?”- said human rights activist Toregozhina Bakhytzhan51.
On March 10, in Atyrau, some unidentified persons sprayed the symbol “Z” and the inscription “Putin” on the car of Zhalgasova Zhanylsyn. They also posted an APB on her with her photo in the entrances of her house, where she was described as a dangerous and unstable person. They offered a reward for her whereabouts, but did not give but did not give the contact information52.
On March 10, in Almaty, there was a rally in Gandi Park to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The protestors demanded a 41% increase in disability benefits, housing, and provision of hostels for people with disabilities; employment for people with disabilities, and special attention for disabled persons of groups II and III. In addition, they demanded an increase in pay for caregivers of people with disabilities and for personal aides53.
On March 10, people with disabilities protested in several regions of Kazakhstan. They demanded to solve the housing problems, to increase social benefits, and to provide benefits as required by law. The protesters stated that it had become more difficult for them to survive these days, amid rising prices, and that there was in fact no opportunity to earn money54.
On March 10, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has repeated its appeal to the Kazakh authorities to criminalize domestic violence. The organization issued the statement ahead of President Tokayev’s address to the people of Kazakhstan, where he was expected to present a new reform program55.
On March 10, in Uralsk, there was a session of the Board of Appeal, which considered and dismissed the complaint of the activist Utebayev. He tried to fight the court decision about the fine of more than 100 thousand tenge. The fine was imposed for holding a picket on January 28 in front of the Nur Otan party building56.
On March 10, in Nur-Sultan, family members of victims who were killed during the QANTAR2022 days and placed in pre-trial detention during and after the January events came to the presidential residence in the capital, to demand a fair criminal investigation57.
On March 10, in Satpayev city, Karaganda region, Nasyrkhanov Burkutbai, Article 669 Part 1 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK was sentenced to a fine of 10721 tg. He was held accountable because of an appeal to the President of Kazakhstan Tokayev posted on his Facebook page. The court considered it as a failure to enforce the court verdict of last July under Article 405 of the Criminal Code of the RK, according to which he was forbidden to be engaged in social and political activity for 3 years.
March 10, Zhana-Ozen, Hundreds of protesters have been gathering in front of the akimat building during 39 days and demanding employment in the oil sector. At least 8 people were summoned to the police under administrative Article 488 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan for alleged “participation in an illegal rally”58.
March 11, Almaty, “Online courts are still held in Kazakhstan! Our courts with a stable reputation as corrupt and unconscionable keep standing on their exclusivity and don’t care about access to justice! Zhakip Asanov should resign!”, stated human rights activist Toregozhina Bakhytzhan59.
March 11, Petropavlovsk, facility EC-164/3, Kayirbek Askar, Article 405 Part 1/2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, there was an appeal review of the denial of conditional release on parole. The appeal was dismissed by the court. The court hearing was held without the participation of Kayirbek60.
On March 11, in Shymkent, the Karatau City District Court had restricted the freedom of four residents accused under the article “Theft” (Article 188 of the Criminal Code of the RK) for 3 years following the January events. The defendants have repented of what they had done and recouped the damage done61.
On March 11, in Almaty, police had exhumed the body of 12-year-old Sultan Kylychbek, without his parents’ consent, who died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head during the January events62.
March 12, Almaty, Mamay Zhanbolat was not released after 15 days of administrative arrest for participation in a mourning rally. Mamay was reclassified from a “witness with the right to defense” to a suspect in the case of “spreading deliberately false information” under Article 274 and Article 378 of the Criminal Code of the RK “insulting a representative of authority”63.
March 12, Almaty, employees of the City Police Department appeared as victims in the criminal case against Zhanbolat Mamay under Article 378 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Insulting a representative of authority”64.
On March 12, in Nur-Sultan, a rally for women’s rights was held, the participants claimed that women’s rights in Kazakhstan were not duly protected, the government failed to take appropriate measures to eliminate domestic violence, and many women who raise their children alone were excluded from social support65.
On March 12, in Almaty, pro-government organizations held a rally in Valikhanov Square in support of «traditional» values under the slogan “Ana — Bir kolymen besikti, bir kolymen alemdi terbetedi — Mother — rocks the cradle with one hand and leads the world with her other hand”! Activists came out to protest feminism and the “Western values” they promote66.
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “As of today, we know for certain about the deaths of 20 citizens who accidentally caught in the crossfire. Eleven of them were in the city of Almaty, eight in the Almaty region and one in the city of Taraz. Among them were those who were caught in the crossfire, some died at the hands of pogromists, and there are also those who disobeyed the demands of the military at roadblocks”, said Prosecutor General Asylov at a plenary session of the Majilis67.
On March 14, in Nur-Sultan, the Parliament of Kazakhstan has discussed the bloodshed in January. The representatives of the law enforcement agencies presented their reports to the deputies. The Prosecutor General reported that 230 people were killed in Kazakhstan in that days, and according to the Commissioner for Human Rights the number of victims was 23868.
On March 14, in Nur-Sultan, Azamat Abildaev, a member of the Majilis, had his microphone cut off after mentioning Ukraine in the context of the January tragedy69.
On March 14, at the plenary session of the Mazhilis, Deputy Snezhana Imasheva has raised the issue of publication of the list of victims and the circumstances of their deaths during the
QANTAR2022 events. An incomplete list has already been compiled and is being updated
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “There are seven criminal cases under investigation against the heads of Kazakhstan’s police departments and National Security Committee (DKNB), and the main part of the investigation has been completed. Mazhilov Nurlan, the Head of the Almaty Department of the National Security Committee, has been arrested, and evidence is being collected and analyzed in relation to the others”, Prosecutor General Asylov said71.
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “The January events were being prepared for at least two years, although the existence of terrorist cells had been reported even earlier. Many people make the mistake thinking that it all started with peaceful rallies; in fact, it all started long before that with informational preparation for the events. There was an attempt of a violent seizure of power in January, and all other criminal violations, that took place during these events, served as a means of achieving the main goal”, said Umarova Aiman at the plenary session of the Majilis of the Parliament72.
On March 14, in Almaty, nearly two dozen supporters of the activist Mamai Zhanbolat held a meeting in front of the city police department and demanded that he be released. An akimat representative who attended the event said that the action was “illegal”, and a representative of the prosecutor’s office said that they could be detained if they did not stop the “unlawful action”73.
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “Eight people died in pre-trial facilities after being detained in connection with the January events, 234 criminal cases on allegations of torture are being investigated” said Head of the Anti-Corruption Service Bektenov Olzhas at a Majilis session74.
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “In such a difficult situation, police officers and soldiers were trying to curb violence as far as possible, they did not use live ammunition as long as possible, they used rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. But this was perceived as weakness”, said Prosecutor General Asylov at a meeting of the Majilis of the Parliament. 75.
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “In the January events 230 people died, including 19 security officers, 20 citizens accidentally came under fire, the total number of victims in Almaty — 139 people, including 86 who attacked the buildings of state bodies. In seven regions of the country, 63 assailants were killed by the security forces as they defended the buildings of akimats, police, and the CNS department”, said Prosecutor General Asylov76.
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “15 cases of treason, attempts to seize power and corruption are under investigation by the National Security Committee. Former NSC Chairman Karim Masimov and three of his deputies have been arrested. Two more leaders of this body, suspected of abuse of authority, have been held criminally responsible” said Prosecutor General Asylov at a meeting of the Majilis of the Parliament77.
March 14, Ust-Kamenogorsk, the court changed the preventive measure to a measure of restraint not related to the arrest to civil activists Raigul Sadyrbayeva, Anara Kaliyeva, Bibigul Kokanbekova (suspected under Article 272, Part 2, Article 269, Part 3 of the Criminal Code of the RK for participation in the QANTAR2022 events). They were kept in custody for two months “for the duration of investigative actions”78.
March 14, Nur-Sultan, “Eight NSC officers and one police officer were detained on suspicion of torture. 243 criminal cases were initiated on the facts of torture and abuse of power. There are 234 cases under investigation by the anti-corruption agency and 301 complaints were filed with the prosecutor’s office in connection with illegal methods of investigation”, said Prosecutor General Asylov79.
On March 14, in Almaty, Mamai Zhanbolat, as a result of the court hearing, Mamai was sentenced to two months in custody under Article 274 “Dissemination of knowingly false information” and Article 378 “Insulting a representative of authority” of the Criminal Code of the RK80.
On March 14, in Almaty, supporters of Mamay Zhanbolat went on hunger strike outside the
police department in protest. Even before the court decision was announced, the participants of the action in support of Mamay stated that they were going on hunger strike81.
On March 14, in Almaty, several participants of the rally in memory of the victims of the January events, which took place on February 13, 2022, came to the Specialized Court and demanded to bring them to administrative responsibility. The action was held in support of the organizers of the rally, who were held administratively liable82.
On March 14, in Aktobe, family members of the activist Kuat Shamuratov, who was taken into custody under Article 272 Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the RK, as a suspect in “organization of mass riots” after the January events, came to the regional prosecutor’s office and expressed their displeasure with the progress of the investigation. About a dozen and a half people gathered outside the prosecutor’s office83.
On March 14, in Almaty, the court of the Almaly district found Boranbaev Margulan guilty under Article 174, Part 2 and Article 179, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, and Namazbaev Danat guilty under Article 174, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK and sentenced each of them to five years deprivation of liberty to be served in a medium security facility84.
March 15, Almaty, two Uzbek citizens Kanatbayev Makset and Zhumaniyazov Azat went missing during the January events. One of them disappeared before the riots and the other one has remained unaccounted since he was detained by the police. The police say that “he has been released”, but the man has not returned home85.
On March 15, in Kostanay, Alexei Plaskovsky, Article 488, Part 7 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan was sentenced to 8 days of arrest for posting on his Facebook page the video “No to War!”86.
On March 15, in Aksay, Western Kazakhstan region, Murat Sapiyev, Article 405 part 1/2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, during the trial Sapiyev expressed distrust in the judge and asked for a recusal. His application was dismissed87.
On March 15, in Karaganda, Fazylov Aitkozha, having submitted a notice to the akimat of the city to hold a solitary picket for returning the former name “Bulvar Mira” (“Peace Boulevard”) to Nazarbayev Avenue, received a denial from the city akimat without specifying the reason for the denial88.
March 15, Nur-Sultan, “The U.S. Mission is concerned about the continued detention of Mamay Zhanbolat. Respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are of fundamental importance to a functioning democracy. We urge the government of Kazakhstan to allow all citizens to peacefully express their opinions and concerns without fear of arrest or reprisal”, the press service of the United States Embassy in Kazakhstan said89.
On March 15, in Ust-Kamenogorsk city and Semey city Shaualieva Tolkyn, Bektakimova Sholpan, Rakhmetov Zhandarbek were released. It was assumed that this was connected with Tokayev’s forthcoming speech in the RK parliament with the results of the QANTAR 2022 investigation and proposed political reforms90.
On March 15, in Shymkent city, mother of many children KhaidarbekovaKarima was released. A preventive measure in the form of detention was replaced with a written pledge not to leave the place. The prosecutor’s office, after examining the criminal cases brought against her, left the charge under only one article 272 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “participation in mass disorder”91.
March 15, Nur-Sultan, “2,219 criminal cases related to the January events are being investigated by the police. These are mainly 90 murders, 2,183 thefts, 428 cases of arms trafficking, and 164 cases of intentional damage to property”,» said a representative of the Interior Ministry at a Majilis session92.
On 15 March, in Kokshetau, BaimuldinNurzhan, editor of the newspaper “Kokshetau Asia” came to the city court to cover the trial. Before the session started, the journalist handed his service ID card and identity card to the secretary. However, in the courtroom, Judge Satubaldinova demanded from the media representative to provide the accreditation93.
On March 15, in Zhana-Ozen, several protesters among the unemployed residents went on a protest hunger strike on March 15, 2022. They said that they decided to go on hunger strike because their demands for permanent jobs in the oil industry had not yet been met94.
March 15, Almaty, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan was presented by the human rights movement “Activists are not extremists»95.
On March 15, in Almaty, Adilbekov Sayat, Article 272 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, wrote that he and his lawyer have been summoned to the Anti-Corruption Service for investigative actions in the facility LA-155/18, which were held on the basis of a complaint about torture. It was obvious that they were covering up the traces of torture in the facility and replacing the personnel96.
16 марта, «Kazakhstan won’t heal until it allows an independent investigation that exposes the scope of the government’s atrocities and human loss», «Kazakhstan won’t heal until it allows an independent investigation that exposes the scope of the government’s atrocities and human loss.. Police officers participating in torture must be held accountable»- according to an article in the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy.97.
March 16, Nur-Sultan, President of Kazakhstan Tokayev said that there will be «no new indulgences» for citizens in exercising their right to express their opinions. He said this at a joint session of the Houses of Parliament, while addressing another “message” to the people of Kazakhstan 98.
On March 16, Nur-Sultan, President Tokayev, speaking at a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament with a regular address to the nation, said – “Among those who tried to stage a coup, there were famous people. High-level officials betrayed the state. They prevented law enforcement agencies from acting in accordance with the law. They were providing the government with false information about the situation in the cities”99.
March 16, Nur-Sultan, “The registration threshold should be reduced fourfold — from 20,000 to 5,000 people. The minimum number of regional representative offices will be reduced threefold — from 600 to 200 people. The number of the initiative group of citizens to create a party will be reduced from 1 thousand to 700 people”, said President Tokayev in his address to the people of Kazakhstan. 100.
March 16, Nur-Sultan, President Tokayev said in a message to the people of Kazakhstan: «On the necessity of transition from a super-presidential form of government to a presidential republic with a strong parliament.101.
March 16, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan President Tokayev called unacceptable and barbaric the unacceptable methods of investigation and torture by the police; he noted that the authorities have recognized such facts102.
On March 16, the Adal party announced its decision to join the Amanat party of power.The statement was published on the instagram page of Adal103.
March 16, “In retaliation for his unprecedented activism on behalf of the citizens of Kazakhstan — journalist, investigator, politician and courageous fighter against the authoritarian regime, Mamay Zhanbolat was sentenced to prison”, reads a statement of the unregistered Democratic Party of Kazakhstan104.
March 16, Zhana-Ozen, the authorities said it was impossible to meet the demands of the hunger strikers. “According to the press service of the Mangistau Oblast Akim’s office, a certain algorithm exists for recruiting people to work at Ozenmunaigas, which works in the order of precedence”105.
March 16, Almaty, after 25 days in custody, Kim Timur has described his experience in a short and scary way – “it was hell”. They tortured and harassed him — brutally beat him, electrocuted him, threatened to rape him with a police truncheon, and “make his wife a terrorist”. The authorities initiated a torture case on Kim’s complaint, but two months later he knows nothing about the progress of the investigation106.
March 16, Shymkent, facility ICH-167/11, Sabitov Aybek, Article 405, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, the mother of a political prisoner received a message that Aibek needs the following medicines: Zithrox, Mucitus, Montiget, naphthisinum107.
On March 17, in Almaty, Turymbetov Marat received another refusal to hold a rally on the theme “Support for the Ukrainian people. Let’s stop the war in Ukraine” on 19 March. The reason for the refusal was the fact that at that time the rally of the Amanat party (Nur-Otan) on the theme “Support for the President and his reforms” would be held on Valikhanov square108.
On March 17, a medical examination described as “minor damage to the victim’s health” the consequences of extensive burns after the use of the iron. Azamat Batyrbayev, who was detained after the January events in Taldykorgan, was tortured by the police by burning with a hot iron. The relatives of the detainee do not agree with the expertise and demand a re-examination because they believe that the perpetrators of the torture are trying to avoid punishment109.
On March 17, in Semey, appraisers came to the dormitory where Yeginbaeva-Kerbez lives with her son and mother to assess their housing in connection with the arrest. She reports that she and her mother have been working, they have taken a loan to buy a house, and now the authorities want to confiscate it110.
March 17, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan, provided by the human rights foundation Kaharman.kz111.
17 March, the activist YesshozhinYerbol reported that the administration of the institution-164/3 in Petropavlovsk was exerting pressure on political prisoner Kayirbek Askar under Article 405 part 2 of the Criminal Code and asked to help him112.
March 17, Taldykorgan, the Coalition of Kazakhstani NGOs against Torture has announced an Open Doors Day on the following issues: “If you have faced facts of illegal detention, torture and ill-treatment in connection with the events of January, you can apply for primary emergency legal assistance to employees of KIBHR and members of the Coalition of NGOs of Kazakhstan against Torture”113.
March 17, Kokshetau, in connection with the illegal demand from the editor of «Kokshetau Asia» of his accreditation, the head of the press service of the regional court Domalakova said that “a meeting has been held on this fact, at which we pointed out a poor knowledge of the law and violations of judicial ethics to the chairman of the court when he considered the case114.
March 17, Almaty, 12-year-old Kylychbek Sultan and 4-year-old Meldekhan Aikorkem died in the tragic days of January in Almaty. Two months later, their families are still recovering from the grief. The bereaved families have many questions for the authorities. The main one: “Who shot the children?”115
March 17, Almaty, lawyer Umarova-Aiman claimed that a family was shot by the CNS during the January events. According to the lawyer, the victims were first interrogated by the police, and then the case was passed on to the military investigation department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The police are currently investigating the case under Article 99 part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan – “Murder”116.
March 18, Nur-Sultan, the Supreme Court reversed a special ruling of the Military Court against Tatyana Kovaleva, a journalist from the “Sudebnyi Reportazh” (Court reporting) website, demanding that her articles be removed117.
Nur-Sultan, March 18, Minister of Information and Social Development Askar Umarov assured that Kazakhstan will not block social networks under the guise of a law to protect children from bullying118.
On March 18, in the Akmola region, residents of the villages of Aksu, Bestobe, Zholymbet and Stepnogorsk, including employees of Kazakhaltyn, recorded a video appeal to President Tokayev. They expressed their concern that the eco-activists Katchiyev and Nazarenko were prosecuted and accused of “inciting social hatred”119.
On March 18, the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges the Kazakh authorities to allow international experts to investigate the January events and provide them access to all available information120.
Nur-Sultan, March 18, Umarov Askar, Minister of Information and Social Development of Kazakhstan, told journalists that the government had no plans to introduce legislative norms that would allow media outlets to be recognized as “foreign agents”121.
March 18, Nur-Sultan, according to the Akorda website “President Tokayev was informed about the investigation of crimes committed during the January events, the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators. 2,988 criminal cases are pending, 188 cases have been closed with indictments, of which 166 have been referred to court. At the same time, work is being done to remove stolen weapons from illicit trafficking”122.
On March 18, in Kyzylorda, Turganbaev-Ongarbek was illegally arrested under Article 272 part 2 (“Participation in mass riots”) and Article 380 part 2 (“Use of violence against a representative of authority”) for his participation in a peaceful protest on January 4.
On March 19, in Almaty, about 500 people attended a rally to support the initiatives of President Tokayev. The rally was held in Valikhanov Square. Participants held posters “Together with the president”, “Together we will build a new Kazakhstan” in Russian and Kazakh languages123.
Students from several universities confessed that they attended the rally unaware of the real reasons for the gathering. The students say that the day before they were also fraudulently gathered for a concert, where the audience shouted slogans “Our president is a tiger!”124.
March 19, “Currently, 21 political prisoners including two women are kept in the detention facility”, human rights activist Toregozhina Bakhytzhan said.125.
March 19, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan, provided by the human rights movement “Kaharman.kz”126.
On March 19, in Aktobe, Shamuratov Kuat, Article 272 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, the specialized court has shifted him from the pre-trial detention center to house arrest.
March 20, Pavlodar region, Ekibastuz city, Amrenov Kaliaskar reported that the investigator of the Anti-Corruption Agency Tauekel D. has closed the criminal case against police officers of Ekibastuz city under Article 146 Part 2 “Torture”. The decision was approved by the regional prosecutor127.
20 March, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan provided by the human rights movement “Kaharman.kz”128.
March 23, Pavlodar, politically motivated persecution of Kaluov-Nurgul. She was visited by an inspector from the probation service. Though the probation period had ended on January 3, 2022129.
20 March, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan provided by the human rights movement “Kaharman.kz”130.
On March 24, in Uralsk, Sapiyev Murat, Article 405 Part 1/2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, was sentenced to 3 years of restriction of liberty with a 5-year ban on social and political activity on the charge of “participation” in the activities of a banned organization131.
On March 24, a petition against the “Sarym-Zakiyeva” amendments was initiated in Kazakhstan. “The authors of the amendments claim that such an innovation would be necessary to protect children from cyberbullying. But the noble purpose is obviously just a cynical cover for the intention to impose more control over the Internet and strengthen censorship”132.
On March 24, in Nur-Sultan city, Abzhan Makhambet, the city police department decided to drop the criminal charges under Article 274 Part 2, Paragraph 3 and Article 147 Part 5 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The expertise appointed by the investigator did not find in Abzhan’s words either appeals to take part in the protest action, or insulting remarks about the police officers133.
March 24, Nur-Sultan, “Tokayev heard information on the results of the activities of the Commissioner for Human Rights for 2021, which included the measures taken to render assistance in restoring the rights of citizens”, Azimova Elvira reported on the issues of human rights protection at the stage of pre-trial investigation, especially in the context of the January events134.
March 24, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan provided by the human rights movement “Kaharman.kz”135.
On March 25, in Uralsk, Okhasov Orynbai, Article 405 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the court replaced the activist’s unserved part of the term of restriction of liberty with a prison term “for participating in an unauthorized rally”136.
On March 25, in Nur-Sultan, pensioner Kutmambetova-Zinagul, applied for holding a solitary picket with a demand transfer Tokayev to the Hague Tribunal. According to the application, the picket was planned to be open-ended, “on any day, at any time, in any place starting from April 4”. The places of the picket were specified as the spaces in front of the public offices137.
On March 25, Kazakhstan became the 90th of 193 the member states of the UN that have acceded to the protocol on the abolition of the capital punishment138.
March 25, Almaty, Tleuzhanova Aigerim, security officers made a search at the place of residence. The search was ordered by the court at the request of the prosecutor’s office, which was investigating the criminal case of the seizure of the Almaty airport during the January events. The search warrant referred to the case filed under Article 255 Part 4 of the Criminal Code of the RK “Act of Terrorism”139.
On March 26, the Kazakhstani authorities should drop all charges against opposition leader Mamay Zhanbolat and release him. This was the conclusion reached by HumanRightsWatch, which called the charges against the activist trumped up and contrary to the country’s newly announced reforms140.
March 26, Almaty, “Release political prisoners and drop charges against QANTAR2022 activists” — stated human rights activist Toregozhina Bakhytzhan141.
March 26, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan provided by the human rights movement “Kaharman.kz”142.
March 28, Almaty city, Mamay Zhanbolat, Article 274 and Article 378 of the Criminal Code of the RK, the city court dismissed the appeal against the decision of the investigative court to detain him in custody within the investigation of two criminal cases against him.
On March 28, in Stepnogorsk, Akmola region, a court session was held against N. Katchiyev and A. Nazarenko charged with committing an offense under Article 174 of the Criminal Code of the RK143.
March 28, Nur-Sultan, Former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and his daughter, Nazarbayeva Dariga may not be detained or arrested. “No, these persons may not be detained or arrested. The law prohibits it, but there is no prohibition on asking them questions and getting answers”, Justice Minister Musin said144.
March 28, Semey, seven people, who were detained on charges of rioting during the January events, had their measure of restraint changed to one that was not related to arrest145.
March 28, Zhana-Ozen, the unemployed, who had been gathering in front of the akimat for about 2 months and demanded employment in the oil sector, claimed that they were being pressured by security authorities146.
March 28, “Criminal cases against 314 suspects in connection with the January events were completed with indictment. There are 156 persons suspected of theft, 23 persons suspected of illegal possession of weapon, 7 persons suspected of theft of weapons, 3 persons suspected of robbery, 291 defendants were brought to trial. As of today the country’s courts have already convicted 96 persons, out of which 88 have been sentenced to restriction of liberty”, — said the representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Adilov147.
March 28, Nur-Sultan, Azimova Elvira, human rights ombudsman, in a meeting with President Tokayev, suggested improving legislation to protect human rights in states of emergency, in the area of law enforcement, as well as expanding the mandate of assize courts148.
March 28, Almaty, “We demand that observers be admitted to the trials on the events of the January tragedy”, human rights activist Toregozhina-Bakhytzhan said149.
On March 28, in Nur-Sultan, the administrative court began its examination of a claim from Pruzhikhin Igor, a member of the initiative group of metallurgists with disabilities of Karmet SJSC from Temirtau, who had brought up the issue of the inaction of the government and local officials in relation to employees of Karmet SJSC who had suffered labor injuries150.
March 28, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan provided by the human rights movement “Kaharman.kz”151.
On 28 March, Uralsk, Maria Dracheva, journalist of Uralskaya Nedelya, had received telephone threats for the anti-war stance of the editorial board. She submitted a complaint to the police stating that she was threatened by an unknown man. The editorial board considered the call as a real threat to the life of journalists152.
March 29, Almaty, “Online courts have become an absolute mayhem; all our appeals are ignored by Asanov Zhakip and his office, the Supreme Judicial Council/the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan turned into the untouchables. We demand to return the courts to the courtroom” — said human rights activist Toregozhina Bakhytzhan153.
On March 29, Almaty, the press center of the Bureau for Human Rights held a press conference about the political persecution of Kaziev Erkin and Khasenov Sabyrzhan, who were put on the wanted list by the authorities after the January events154.
March 29, Almaty, relatives of Ruslan Usabaev, shot during the January protests, again spoke against the exhumation of his body. “I was told that I would be summoned when they would do the exhumation, but I am against the exhumation”, said Elmira Usabaeva, the sister of the deceased155.
March 29, “First and foremost, the new Saryma-Zakyeva amendments threaten to restrict the rights to seek, receive and disseminate information, the right to freedom of speech, and the right to express one’s opinion”, said Kabyshev Elzhan, a member of the expert group on digital rights156.
On March 29, Nur-Sultan, when asked “Why the lists of people who died during the January events were not published? Does the Prosecutor General’s Office forbid the publication of lists of the dead?’ the answer was ‘There is no prohibition, but the compilation of a single list falls under the responsibility of the investigating bodies. Mainly cases are investigated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs”, a representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Dembayev, answered. 157.
On March 29, in Almaty, near the consulate of China, police detained Akytkhan Khalida, Kazybek Gulfiya, Yermekba iNurzat, and Omiraly Gulbaran who were demanding the return of their family members who were being held in custody in the Chinese region of Xinjiang158.
March 29, «Kazakhstani authorities use overly restrictive legislation to suppress dissent and silence criticism, Rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Kazakhstan remain limited,» Amnesty International says in a report n the state of the world’s human rights159.
March 29, Were the terrorists who “departed from the Almaty airport” during the January events identified, and who were those military officers beheaded in Almaty? The Kazakhstani authorities still do not have a clear answer to these questions. The Deputy Prosecutor General has been unable to confirm the information voiced by President Tokayev160.
March 29, Almaty, “We are working on more than 30 new cases on the status of political prisoners in Kazakhstan, many of them are related to the January events, mostly in Semey and Shymkent” — reported human rights activist Toregozhina-Bakhytzhan161.
On March 29, the Kazakhstan NGO Coalition against Torture and the International Partnership for Human Rights are concerned that investigations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment of victims and detainees in connection with the mass protests that took place in Kazakhstan in January 2022 are not effective162.
March 29, Petropavlovsk, Timur Zhumanov, the head of the information portal 7152.kz, was asked to leave the meeting of the Public Council of the North-Kazakhstan region. Chairman of the Council Suleimenov explained this decision by the fact that all further information was «only for official use»163.
March 29, monitoring of human rights violations in Kazakhstan provided by the human rights movement “Kaharman.kz”164.
On March 29, in Nur-Sultan city, Kenzin Ilshat went to a solitary picket to the building of the Supreme Court. He demanded a personal meeting with the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan Asanov Zhakip and urged the authorities to set up a commission for control of judicial decisions165.
March 30, Shymkent, Ashtayev Zhanmurat, Dosmambetova Lyazzat, Sultanbek Kairat, Kulbayev Yergali and Sadibekov Moldabay, Article 269 Part 1, paragraph 2, 6, Article 272 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK. The court extended the detention of the activists for another two months. The motion for extension was filed by the prosecutor’s office on the grounds of “incomplete investigative actions”166.
March 30, Kostanay, Alexei Plaskovsky, Article 488 Part 7 of the Administrative Offences Code of Kazakhstan, Regional Court of Appeal considered and dismissed the appeal of the civil activist against the decision of the court of first instance to bring him to administrative responsibility in the form of 8 days of arrest167.
On March 30, in Zhana-Ozen, Zhappasova Amangul, a mother of two children who is bringing up a child with a disability, spent the night in front of the akimat building. She demanded employment in the oil and gas sector from the local authorities, made her demands and went on an indefinite hunger strike. She refuses to eat, but drinks water168.
On March 30 in Almaty, a roundtable discussion was held on “Discrimination, which apparently does not exist”, but it penetrates many spheres of life of Kazakhstan’s citizens. Experts and human rights activists discussed those topics that the state does not like to talk about, placing the emphasis on the presence or absence of discriminatory provisions and norms in Kazakhstan’s legislation169.
March 30, Nur-Sultan, Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Aimagambetov Askhat said that officially there were no complaints from students of being forced to participate in a rally “in support of reforms” by President Tokayev held on March 19 in Almaty. 170.
March 30, Taldykorgan, “The investigation into the shooting of the Sagyndykov family by the border police officers is being carried out under Article 99 part 2 «Murder». This was not an abuse of power, but a murder”, said lawyer Umarova Aiman171.
On March 31, in Zhana-Ozen, another resident of the city has joined the second day of Zhappasova Amangul’s hunger strike in front of the akimat. The number of participants of the hunger strike increased amid the meeting of the Akim of Mangistau region Nogaev with the residents of Zhana-Ozen172.
March 31, Nur-Sultan, «there is an algorithm of employment in this oil-producing region of Kazakhstan, which was established based on the number of residents and earlier decisions,» said Minister of Labor and Social Protection Shapkenov Serik, commenting on the protests of Zhana-Ozen residents that had lasted about two months173.
On March 31, in Shymkent city, a group of people came to the city prosecutor’s office to demand the release of their relatives and friends who had been arrested in cases that had been opened after the January events. Some of the protesters said that they would go on a hunger strike174.
On March 31, the transport police announced that they had detained a suspect in an attack on police stations and the airport building in Almaty. The operational investigation group identified the suspect from surveillance camera footage. The detainee was identified as a 24-year-old resident of Almaty, a native of Zhambyl Region175.
March 31, Almaty, Kalas Nurpeisov, Article 272, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, who has been detained on suspicion of involvement in the attack on the airport. The court upheld the decision on his arrest, rejecting Nurpeisov’s request for bail.