On 5 October 2021, at Ereymentau District Court, a politically motivated court started a civil suit of the Social Foundation «Ar-Bedel» against the civil activist Aizhan AKISHEVA for “prohibition of actions violating rights and creating danger of future harm» because of the fact that Aizhan AKISHEVA disseminated information that is allegedly aimed at «formation of public negative image — «common enemy», discredit to the First President — Yelbasy (title — Leader of the Nation), as well as state apparatus, in general». In essence, it is a criticism of the authorities. According to the Constitution we have the right to freedom of speech, freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
Now, the authorities are violating Aizhan AKISHEVA’S right to an open trial. As it turns out, there is no wi-fi at the Ereymentau District Court, and the Zoom software for an online court with extended presence of observers is allegedly «very heavy». Therefore, they cannot connect observers. As a result, they have to hold online trials via messenger WhatsApp, where no more than 8 people can connect.
Can you imagine? Where do the taxes go? And anyway, this is not Aizhan AKISHEVA’S problem. It’s the court’s problem. It is they who have to provide wi-fi connection, licensed Zoom software, and allow all willing observers. The authorities talk about alleged reforms, but they do not have even basic things in court — Wi-Fi and Zoom licensed programme.
Moreover, in the court Aizhan AKISHEVA was asked who these observers are and why they are there, as they say, there is a lawyer and that’s enough. The observers will observe how the authorities of Kazakhstan politically persecute Aizhan AKISHEVA, violate her rights and breach their international human rights obligations.
In addition, it should be reminded that “Ar-Bedel” also wrote in its lawsuit that publications by Aizhan AKISHEVA allegedly «contain calls to overthrow the government, participation in unsanctioned rallies; statements expressing a threat to commit unlawful acts». Aizhan AKISHEVA called for peaceful protests and peaceful change of power, which is legitimate and the peaceful change of power is a natural political process. What kind of «bloodshed» is «Ar-Bedel» talking about? Where is the evidence? Where are the conclusions of «experts»? What «military action» are the «Ar-Bedel lawyers» talking about?
The next trial is to be held on 19 October 2021, at 10:00, but our recommendation is simple:
Demand the provision of the internet, a licensed Zoom program and that all willing observers be connected. This is our right!
Aizhan AKISHEVA has done the right thing — she has made her demands and said she refuses to participate in such a trial until her demands are met. She is not refusing to participate in the trial. She is demanding that her rights be respected.