In Kazakhstan, the systemic prosecution of peaceful protesters, including those objecting the renaming of the country’s capital and nomination of the acting president, has recently escalated. Since March 2018, when Kazakh authorities banned the opposition movement Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK), more than 700 protesters, including children, were subjected to arbitrary detention.
Almat Zhumagulov, Kenzhebek Abishev, Aset Abishev, Ablovas Dzhumayev have already been sentenced to long prison terms. The members of the human rights monitoring mission of the Italian Federation for Human Rights were illegally expelled from Kazakhstan after trying to meet a former judge dismissed from office after acquitting an opposition activist, Aigul Akberdieva.
Journalists Saniya Toiken and Svetlana Glushkova covering the protests were detained and prosecuted. A human rights defender, Serikzhan Bilash, has been kept in custody and was, presumably, tortured to testify against the DCK leader, Mukhtar Ablyazov (whom he never met). Notwithstanding the efforts of the international community, 19 of 26 United Nations opinions and appeals, including those concerning the cases of political prisoners Mukhtar Dzhakishev, Iskander Yerimbetov and Max Bokayev, remain completely ignored by the authorities.
We support the recent European Parliament resolution on human rights in Kazakhstan and call for an application of “Magnitsky laws” against those accountable for the aforementioned human rights violations in the country.