📌 HOW TOKAYEV’S STATE BODY FINANCIAL MONITORING AGENCY IS INVOLVED IN POLITICAL REPRESSION
4 November 2021
Since 2019, president TOKAYEV has not stopped repeating blatant lies about the «listening state» in the international arena. And in the run-up to TOKAYEV’S visit to Brussels, almost every state body is promoting propaganda about the alleged «observance of human rights, the fight against corruption and laundering of dirty money in Kazakhstan». In fact, TOKAYEV is a continuation and executor of Nazarbayev’s permanent regime, and all the announced reforms are simply an imitation of the tumultuous activities.
Thus, on 2 November 2021 TOKAYEV «praised the work done by the Financial Monitoring Agency in combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism/extremism». Using the case of the former political prisoner Zhazira DEMEUOVA, an activist from #Almaty, as an example, we will describe one of more than 30 cases (and possibly even more) registered by human rights defenders, which shows that President TOKAYEV through his subordinate/supervised state body – the Financial Monitoring Agency (hereinafter – FMA) imitates the fight against «dirty money laundering» and deliberately participates in the systematic violation of human rights and political persecution of dissidents, abusing the anti-extremist legislation (under Article 405 Part 1 and Part 2 of the Criminal Code).
On 25 October 2021 a court hearing was held in the Specialised Inter-district Administrative Court of the city of Astana in the case of the former political prisoner Zhazira DEMEUOVA against the FMA with a demand to remove her name from the «List of persons/organisations involved in the financing of terrorism/extremism» (hereinafter referred to as the «List of Extremists»). After activist DEMEUOVA, a mother of many children, was convicted under Article 405 Part 2 of the Criminal Code for her participation in peaceful protests in November 2019, the TOKAYEV-controlled FMA included DEMEUOVA in the «List of Extremists». As a result this led to «economic death» of DEMEUOVA (as well as other activists convicted under Article 405), an activist and mother of a minor son:
➖ all kinds of bank accounts, public services, social benefits, notary services are blocked (she cannot even write a power of attorney for her minor son, and this is already a violation of her child’s rights). ➖ she is deprived of state-guaranteed health insurance; ➖ cannot get a job (the employer has nowhere to pay wages/contributions, she needs a current account, which cannot be opened due to the FMA block). ➖ she cannot pay utility bills, taxes and loans, and as a consequence, movable/ immovable property is taken away with the help of bailiffs for the debts incurred. ➖ the NSC and police officers constantly conduct illegal surveillance. ➖ the president-appointed judge has deprived [her] of the right to freedom of expression on social media and in the media, the right to participate in the public and political life of the country, with restrictions of liberty and the establishment of probation control.
All these persecutions remained in force despite the expiry in 2020 of the sentence imposed by the court. In her lawsuit against the FMA, Zhazira DEMEUOVA had stated that she had NOT “laundered criminal proceeds by financing terrorism/extremism” and the court verdict has not proved this fact. Therefore, TOKAYEV’S state body FMA exceeded its authority and illegally included the data of Zhazira DEMEUOVA in the “List of Extremists”. However, Judge BIYAKHMETOVA B.D. did not properly consider these circumstances and appointed an incomprehensible “reconciliation” procedure that lasted no more than 1 minute in court. At the same time, observers/defenders were not admitted to the court hearing by Judge BIYAKHMETOVA in violation of the legislation of Kazakhstan on publicity of court proceedings at all stages of the proceedings. As a defendant in court – an FMA representative stated that “there will be no conciliation”. The date of the trial will be set within 20 days.
And while FMA is irreconcilably tough on mothers from low-income families with many children and deprives them of their livelihood, it is very loyal to officials involved in corrupt schemes… For example, on 23 June 2021, TOKAYEV’S vision of the fight against corruption sounded like this: “… If a public servant makes a mistake when making a decision, without the malicious intent to steal budget funds or illegally enrich himself through bribery, he should not be held criminally liable”.
The EU representatives in Brussels, who are going to meet TOKAYEV, as well as the participants of Economic Forum in Bishkek on 5 November 2021, need to remember that Kazakhstani authorities have long ago mastered the skills of beautiful presentations about “reforms” and the use of empty words like: “On further actions on human rights in Kazakhstan”, “Plan of priority actions on human rights”.
All these “TOKAYEV’S plans” remain just buzzwords to cover up mass political repressions in the country under the strict supervision of Nursultan NAZARBAYEV. Meanwhile, real fighters for democratic reforms are imprisoned, discriminated against, tortured and politically killed. It is high time to hear the voices of Kazakhstanis calling for support for the demands of the European Parliament’s Resolution and for the introduction of targeted sanctions against those responsible for the mass violation of human rights in Kazakhstan.