MONITORING OF POLITICAL PERSECUTION IN THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN from September 1 to September 30, 2021

September 1, Aktobe region, Martuk village, Reichert Roman, Article 378, Part 1 (“insulting a representative of authority”) and Article 380, Part 1 (“application of force to a representative of authority”) of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan, the appeal court on politically motivated case against a civil activist will be held at 9-30 a. m.[1]. The verdict was upheld.

September 1, Turkestan region, Batyrbekov Amangeldy, Article 411 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan ( libel against a judge), based on the statement of judges Aidos Sultanov, Talgat Ongarbaev and Burkit Baidullaev, in which they pointed out that the journalist has libeled them in social networks [2].

September 2, Nur-Sultan, Askar Kayirbek, Article 405 Part 1/2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, the Board of Appeals for criminal cases extended the term of detention from 1.5 years to 2.2 years at the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which considered that the previous penalty was not too severe[3]

On September 3, in the village of Bestobe, Akmola region, police officers burst into the house of environmental activist Nikolai Katchiyev and seized office equipment and documents related to the Kazakhaltyn Technology. The prosecution was triggered by the statement that “a group of persons” was spreading false information about the above-mentioned company [4].

September 3, Nur-Sultan, a draft law “On Amnesty” was tabled in the Parliamentary Committee on Legislation and Judicial and Legal Reform. In the course of the discussion Berik Dyusembinov announced the proposal of the residents of East Kazakhstan region to release Aron Atabekai and other political prisoners[5].

September 6, Mangistau region, in the Karakiya district court there was a trial on the civil claim of West Oil Software LLP against 6 strikers: Kapanov Serik, Soyunov Zhenis, Makhmutov Berik, Nurbolganov Bazargali, Samarov Muratbek, Dzharylgaev Batyrzhan to recognize the strike as illegal.  The court ruled the strike illegal and demanded that it be stopped. The hearing took place online, through the WhatsApp messenger. The process was held in the state language[6]

On September 6, environmental activists of Akmola region made an appeal to the authorities and law enforcement bodies of Kazakhstan, demanding to terminate criminal proceedings against Nikolai Katchiyev, a resident of Bestobe village, who, they said, comes under pressure because he raises environmental problems in the village[7].

On September 6, in Nur-Sultan city, Muhamedzhanov Murat and Ermakhanov Nursultan, activists of the El Tiregi party, were arrested for 15 days, one for calling to protest on 7 September at 15-00, next to the “Baiterek” monument in Nur-Sultan city against mandatory vaccination etc., and the other one for participating in the rally on 25 June[8].

On September 7, in Nur-Sultan city, there was a rally of the «El Tiregi» party against the construction of a nuclear power plant and mandatory vaccination, about 25 people were detained.

On September 7, in Almaty, at 4pm the “UralskNEWS” channel started the live broadcast with human rights activist Toregozhina Bakhytzhan on the topic “ On political repressions and assistance to political prisoners”. The broadcast did not take place, because the Internet began to hang up, the sound disappeared and the stream had to be ceased[9].

On September 7, actions were held in Shymkent and Aktobe to demand that the immunization campaign not be applied to children. Representatives of local authorities came to the crowd and assured them that vaccination would be carried out only with the consent of the parents. There was a big congestion of police officers on the ground, and there were no people arrested[10].

On 8 September, in Nur-Sultan city, Arinzhan Ruslan and Kanybekov Perdebai, activists of the El Tiregi party, were arrested for 7-10 days under Article 488, Part 11 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan for their participation in the action near the “Baiterek” monument on September 7, 2021.

On September 9, in Nur-Sultan city, Rysbaev Bolat, an activist of the El Tiregi party, was arrested for 10 days under Article 488, Part 11 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan for his participation in the action the “Baiterek” monument on September 7, 2021[11].

On September 8, in Nur-Sultan city, Nurzhan Altayev, a former deputy of the Majilis of the Parliament of the 6th convocation, the leader of the «»El Tiregi»» party was detained by the police under Article 488 part 7 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan[12]. But the administrative actions were not taken against him and he was released 3 hours later.

On September 9, in Almaty, Sanavar Zakirova, a former political prisoner, won a civil lawsuit against the SI-18 detention facility in Almaty, where she remained for several months for failing to act and refusing to forward her appeals on violations of her rights[13].

On September 10, in Aktobe, Asylkhan Zhaubatyrov, an activist of the Koshe partiyasy, was sentenced to 1 year of restriction of liberty under Article 405, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan[14].

On September 13, in Turkestan region, Otrar district, the court of appeal against Syzdykbek Sabit, an activist of the Koshe partiyasy, was held under Article 405, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan; the court decided to deny the probation service to change the restriction of liberty to deprivation of liberty and release of the activist[15].

September 13, Zhambyl region, regional court, Baktybaev Bagdat, an activist of the Koshe partiyasy, Article 405, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK, upon the request of the probation service the unserved part of the punishment (1 year 1 month and 5 days) was replaced with deprivation of liberty. He was taken into custody in the courtroom. 

On September 14, in Nur-Sultan, Lesbayeva Altyn, an activist of the Koshe partiyasy, was sentenced under Article 405, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan to 2 years of restriction of liberty and prohibition of social and political activity and the use of social networks including the media for a period of 3 years. The court ordered her to perform 100 hours of forced labor per year and to pay 27780 tenge to the Victims’ Compensation Fund.

On September 14, in Nur-Sultan, Askhat Akhmedyarov, an artist, was forcibly arrested for his performance at the lake Maly Taldykol and taken to the Yesil police department. He was released after 3 hours, but on September 15, he was found guilty of “insubordination to police” and “disorderly conduct” under Article 667, part 1 and Article 434 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK and was subsequently sentenced to a fine of 14,585 tenge[16].

On September 15, in Shymkent, Dosmambetova Lyazzat, an activist of the Koshe partiyasy was sentenced to 2.6 years of restriction of liberty, and prohibition of social and political activity and the use of social networks including the media for a period of 5 years. The court ordered her to perform 100 hours of forced labor per year and to pay 20 MCI to the Victims’ Compensation Fund[17].

On September 15, in Nur-Sultan, Majilis deputies proposed supplementing Article 41-1 of the Communications Act with additional subparagraphs on changing the procedure for blocking Internet resources by decision of the authorized body[18].

On September 15, in Kapshagay, Almat Zhumagulov, a political prisoner convicted in 2018 under Article 256 and Article 174 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, was released following the replacement of the unserved part of his prison sentence with restriction of liberty[19].

On September 15, in Almaty, human rights activist Bakhytzhan Toregozhina initiated collecting signatures for the release of Aron Atabek from prison.  The appeal was published on her Facebook page asking the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev to “pardon” the poet and dissident Aron Atabek, who was condemned to 18 years in prison after the Shanyrak events in 2006 [20].

On September 15, in Nur-Sultan city, two unidentified men, claiming to be employees of the akimat,were looking for Venera Zhanbaeva at her previous place of work, which she had left more than a week ago.  Political persecution was caused by Venera’s publications in social networks about her intention to attend a peaceful rally[21].

On September 16, in Taraz, Islambek Dastan, a correspondent of the Turaninfo.kz news agency, as a “witness” and Daniyar Alimkul, a reporter for Channel 7, as a “witness with the right to defense” were summoned by the police, where they signed non-disclosure agreements, which constitutes a violation of Article 158 of the Criminal Code of the RK “Interfering with legal professional activity of journalist” and Article 159 “Illegal restriction of a right to access to information resources”[22].

September 16, Almaty, Alnur Ilyashev, the Judicial Chamber on Civil Cases of the Almaty City Court,while considering the appeal, settled the activist’s complaint against the decision of the district court not to consider his appeal requesting «to recognize the criminal prosecution he was subjected to as political repression»[23].

On September 17, in Almaty, Sanavar Zakirova received a ruling of the Nur-Sultan Administrative Court rejecting a lawsuit against the RK Government, to recognize the actions of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin regarding the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation in the implementation of projects on digital transformation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the Head of SBER Group of Companies, Herman Gref, as unlawful[24].

On September 17, in Almaty, Toktasyn Yrysbek, an activist of the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, was preventively placed under administrative arrest for 15 days under Article 488, Part 7 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK for calling a rally: “Against the construction of the nuclear power plant”, “Freedom to political prisoners”, “Protection and development of the Kazakh language”, which was held near the monument named after Abay on July 18[25].

On September 18, in Almaty, there was a rally of unregistered Democratic Party of Kazakhstan (leader Zh. Mamay). At the rally that took place in front of the Abay monument, activists addressed the issues of the threat to Kazakhstan’s independence, the government’s initiative to build a nuclear power plant, digitalization, Chinese entities operating in the country and the government’s attempts to impose restrictions on social networks. At least six Democratic Party activists were detained before the rally, three activists were placed in detention for 15 days, and two were fined[26].

On 18 September in Almaty, activists of the DPK Nagimetulliev Temirtas, Dostiyarov Dauren and Dostiyarov Abzal were arrested for 15 days under Article 488 part 6 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan for participation in the DPK rally.  Gulnar Mirmambetova, Aruzhan Dyisebaeva were sentenced to a fine of 87510 tenge for active participation in the action “B.Baibekke sadakha” in front of the “Merey” shopping center.

On September 19, in Zhanaozen, Makhanbetov Gaziz, Tileubaev Serik, Nurbaev Kelbet were subjected to administrative arrest for 5 days under Article 488 part 6 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK for their participation in the action against mandatory vaccination in front of the city akimat on August 30, 2021.

On September 19, in Zhanaozen, Yergazeev Zhanbyr and Dzhumagaliev Muratbai were arrested for their participation in a meeting in front of the akimat building on August 16, 2021 and sentenced to 20 days of arrest under Article 488 part 11 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

On September 19, in Zhanaozen, Sabiev Bagtykaly was arrested for 4 days under Article 667 part 1 of the Administrative Offences Code of the RK for disobeying an authority figure when taking pictures of the state flag in the Tauelsizdik square.

On September 20, the website Kuresker.org made an information graphics of preventive repressions and persecutions of civil activists from September 01 to September 20, 2021[27].

20 September, WKO, Aksay, Murat Sapiyev, an activist of the Koshe Partiyasy, was detained and later arrested under Article 405, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK for 2 months for the period of pre-trial investigation.  According to the investigation, Murat Sapiyev organized and participated in rallies[28][29].

On 20 September, in Almaty, Dostiyarov Abzal, who is serving an arrest sentence, reported through his lawyer that he was beaten, tortured and ill-treated during his detention.  Physicians diagnosed neck and head trauma and prescribed treatment. His rights were also violated when he was taken to Issyk city instead of the place of residence and registration in Almaty. His rights were also violated when he was taken to Issyk city instead of the place of residence and registration in Almaty. In addition, they tried to force him to falsely implicate Zhanbolat Mamay, the leader of the Democratic Party[30].

On September 21, in Nur-Sultan, Kuandyk E., Kenzin I., Filimonova N. and about a dozen citizens who were not satisfied with the “unjust” court judgments, held a picket near the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan. The complaints of those gathered varied. They demanded a re-investigation and review of their cases or the cases of their family members. They called for judicial reform and stated that “unjust” judicial decisions “drive people to despair”[31].

On September 21, in Turkestan region, Maktaaral district, Umbetova Alima received a ruling that she was a suspect under Article 405, Part 2 of the Criminal Code of the RK (“participation in an extremist organization”). Political criminal prosecution against her was based on her participation in the Zoom-conference with the leader of the DCK movement Mukhtar Ablyazov in September 2020[32].

On September 22, in Pavlodar region, Bayet village, Zhanat Zhamaliev was arrested for 5 days under Article 669, Part 1 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (“Failure to execute the court sentence”). For his participation in a video on Facebook in support of Yerbol Yeskhozhin, where Zhanat Zhamaliev was filmed with a poster “Freedom to Yerbol Yeskhozhin”. 

On September 22, in Nur-Sultan, the appeal court dismissed the claim of Yeshozhin  Yerbol, an activist ,who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison under Article 405, Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the RK on the charge of “organizing the activities of a banned organization” and “participating in the activities” of a similar association. The trial took place online without the participation of the convicted offender; the court did not explain the reason for his absence [33].

On September 22, in Aktobe, Abdirova Alima, human rights activist held a picket near the regional administration.  Demands: “Observe the international human rights obligations”, “Stop inciting ethnic hatred by the state authorities”, “In defense of the family of the Aktobe human rights activist Olga Klimonova”. On the 6th day of picketing Abdirova, Klimonova and Kalasova were forsibly arrested and taken to the Zavodskoy Police Department. A legitimate request to summon the prosecutor on duty and to give them an opportunity to call was refused. They were released after five hours of detention without giving any reason for their arrest[34].

September 23, Satpayev, Nasyrkhanov Burkutbay. The court upheld a sentence to 1.5 years of restriction of liberty under Article 405, P art 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (participation in the activities of the DCK movement and the Koshe Partiyasy, which are banned in Kazakhstan). The prosecution asked to exclude the application of paragraph 1, part 2 of Article 55 of the Criminal Code of the RK “the assignment of a lighter punishment than provided for by the law for a misdemeanor offense and minor or medium-gravity crimes is possible under mitigating circumstance”[35].

On September 23, in Nur-Sultan, about 10 people who gathered in front of the Chinese embassy in Nur-Sultan in order to demand the release of their family members in Xinjiang were detained. Also, they visited the UN office in the capital and delivered a letter to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres[36].

On September 24, in Nur-Sultan, 10 people were sentenced to fines under Article 488 part 11 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan for participation in the protest action on September 22, 2021 in front of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China: Akytkhan Kalida, Maken Zhamilya, Omirali Gulbaran, Kazybek Gulpyam, Yermekbai Nurzat, Myrzan Almakhan, Kosdaulet Gulnur, Kunbolat Baybolat, Kaliola Akikat and Kurmanalieva Gauhar. They were fined from 61257 to 145850 tenge.

On September 24, in Pavlodar region, Bayet village, Zhanat Zhamaliev, Article 669, Part 1 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, went on hunger strike protesting against his illegal arrest for participating in the challenge with the demand: “Release political prisoner Yerbol Yeshozhin”. He was forcibly placed in a TDF, while administrative detainees should be placed in special detention centers[37].

On September 26, in Almaty, the police department proposed to restrict the maximum allowed distance of the authorized peaceful marches and demonstrations to 1.5km which is three times shorter of the current 4.4km[38].

On September 27, in Kapshagay city, Kenzhebek Abishev, a political prisoner who was condemned in 2018 under Article 256 of the Criminal Code of the RK, was released upon commutation of the unserved part of the sentence with a milder form of punishment. K. Abishev will be released in 15 days[39].

September 27, Almaty, Bakhytzhan Toregozhina published a letter before action against the administrative inaction of the Ombudsman Elvira Azimova because she ignored appeals and letters[40].

On September 28, in Nur-Sultan, Aydar Syzdykov was summoned to court regarding a statement of claim “for the protection of honor and dignity, business reputation, and compensation for moral harm”, which was filed by the staff of the SI-166/1 detention facility. It was based on the recording of a live broadcast titled: “Karabet of the week: Astana pre-trial detention facility — a nest of karabets”[41].

On September 28, in Almaty, the trial of 13 activists under Article 405, Part 1/2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in the debate the prosecutor demanded 5 years in prison with a 5-year ban on social and political activity for Askhat Zheksebayev, Kairat Klyshev, Rakhimzhanov Noyan and Abai Begimbetov. And different terms of restriction of liberty for everyone else[42].

On September 28, in Shymkent, Abdurahim Beisen was arrested for 15 days under Article 488, Part 7 and Article 667 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This was based on information that on September 30 drivers were going to protest “against the use of toll roads, rising prices for diesel fuel and mandatory vaccination”[43].

On September 28, in Shymkent, the drivers of heavy duty vehicles staged a strike and held a protest action on the night of September 28th to 29th near the TDF building in Shymkent, and demanded the release of their friend Abdurakhim Beisen, who was arrested for 15 days for organizing a strike[44].

September 28, kuresker.org information (infographic) on political persecution from September 21 to September 27, 2021[45].

On September 29, in Shymkent, Sergali Praliyev, Diusen Dzhumashev and Kakharman Zholdybekov were detained while bringing “care packages” to Abdurrahim Beisen in the pre-trial detention facility. They were asked to write explanatory letters regarding the action planned for September 30, when the drivers were going to take part in the protests “against the use of toll roads, rising prices for diesel fuel and mandatory vaccination”[46].

On September 29, in Almaty, journalists initiated a public statement of the civil society of Kazakhstan: “On the need not to adopt amendments to legislation that would restrict the work of foreign Internet resources, social networks and messengers”[47]

On September 30, in the West-Kazakhstan region, Aksai, the court of appeal was held with regard to the restrictive measures against the civil activist Mr. Murat Sapiyev, under Article 405 part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In the course of the hearing, the restrictive measure was changed from arrest in a pre-trial detention center to house arrest for 2 months for the period of the investigation[48].

On September 30, in Turkestan region, Karashik village, the protest action of drivers against increasing fuel prices, the introduction of road tolls and mandatory vaccination of children against coronavirus. Police officers demanded to leave the place where the action was taking place[49].

[1]https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActivistsNotExtremists/posts/3068415856811010/

[2]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31438644.html?fbclid=IwAR2t2UsJYEBkkJJ_EJRlT5wZXHL5Yxz-zYWD1WJ48hrSrgDzYpS93WVrWG4

[3]http://tirek.info/aktivistu-askaru-kajyrbeku-tyuremnyj-srok-uvelichili-na-vosem-mesyatsev/

[4]http://tirek.info/ekoaktivistu-katchievu-nikolayu-politseskie-vorvalis-v-dom/

[5]http://tirek.info/ryad-deputatov-podderzhal-initsiativu-ob-amnistirovanii-arona-atabeka/

[6]https://t.me/AdalSotKz/723

[7]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31446385.html  

[8]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31447973.html?fbclid=IwAR2OCriWMy9_0FE6-qyy4fZpBhxdDBGZtCIeX093WaH5whW1osWchTqu8Ac

[9]http://tirek.info/toregozhina-bahytzhan-intervyu-o-politicheskih-repressiyah/

[10]http://tirek.info/v-shymkente-i-aktobe-proshli-aktsii-nesoglasnyh-s-detskoj-vaktsinatsiej-ot-koronavirusa/

[11]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31447973.html?fbclid=IwAR2OCriWMy9_0FE6-qyy4fZpBhxdDBGZtCIeX093WaH5whW1osWchTqu8Ac

[12]https://kaztag.kz/ru/news/za-eks-mazhilismenom-liderom-el-tiregi-nurzhanom-altaevym-prishla-politsiya?fbclid=IwAR23fiAgcnNKM0raheUKFwJfdtkJji1rp3kJUl-TPovWJQmObB9RbTLGjU8

[13]http://tirek.info/sanavar-zakirova-vyigrala-u-si-18/

[14]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31453445.html?fbclid=IwAR2ObxRSKN36iDHcrRDh7MMx-ukfXgMnpGBGO_OTg2lTNHNGuqgtUcdnnds

[15]https://www.facebook.com/toregozhina

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActivistsNotExtremists/posts/3078283439157585/

[16]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31462605.html

[17]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31460203.html

[18]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31461224.html

[19]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31461304.html

[20]http://tirek.info/wp-admin/post.php?post=14658&action=edit

[21]https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActivistsNotExtremists/posts/3080817478904181/

[22]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31462889.html

[23]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31462729.html

[24]https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1293504337771295&id=100013352235450

[25]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31464522.html

[26]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/kazakhstan-almaty-protest/31466597.html?fbclid=IwAR0p2AdsJiPZ_zjkmjcQxp9QyzmDva2qGHrpWeEUVV8_V7_ViavRIWmsjIg

[27]https://kuresker.org/archives/3996

[28]https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActivistsNotExtremists/

[29]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31472877.html

[30]https://www.facebook.com/inga.imanbay/posts/4285080378211927

[31]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31472134.html

[32]https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActivistsNotExtremists/posts/3086546361664626/

[33]http://us.azattyq.org/a/31472983.html

[34]https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=133701765652327&id=100070375115161

[35]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31474751.html

[36]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31476410.html

[37]https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActivistsNotExtremists/posts/3087854278200501/

[38]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31478781.html

[39]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31480155.html

[40]http://tirek.info/v-sud-na-ombudsmena-azimovu/

[41]https://www.facebook.com/groups/2613737598955074/posts/2905069966488501/

[42]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31481975.html

[43]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31483289.html

https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31484228.html

[44]https://infoprof.su/voditeli-kamazov-v-shymkente-vyshli-na-zabastovku-s-trebovaniem-osvobozhdenija-tovarishha/?fbclid=IwAR0cNzqi8eBHh4xXyB4jS8JHWhktF_0NoaN8NnnEBFqIZIoeCkRknxRXZb4

[45]https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=402266361458235&id=108893537462187

[46]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31484228.html

[47]https://secure.avaaz.org/community_petitions/ru/administratsiia_prezidenta_parlament_kazakhstana_leumettik_zhelini_bugattauga_karsy_protiv_popravok_v_zakony_o_sotssetiakh/

[48]https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActivistsNotExtremists/posts/3091741724478423/

[49]https://rus.azattyq.org/a/31485404.html