A civil activist from Aktobe, Asylkhan Zhaubatyrov, was illegally sentenced to 1 year of restricted freedom.

On 10 September 2021, a court verdict was pronounced in the politically motivated case under Article 405 Part 2 (“participation in an extremist organization”) against a political prisoner and civil activist from Aktobe, Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV.
Judge Alima ADILOVA unlawfully imposed a 1-year restriction of liberty, a 1-year ban on social and political activities and the use of social media as well as an obligatory payment of 27780 tenge ($65) to the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund.

Prosecutor: ABDENOVA Saule.

Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV is prosecuted on political grounds for:

  • participation in a peaceful protest on 1 May 2019;
  • photo with a blank sheet of paper. Together with other activists, he participated in a challenge where they took photos with a blank sheet of paper (the letters were later added using a photo editor) to raise the issue of political killings and human rights violations in Kazakhstan.
  • video message to the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, to raise the issue of human rights violations in Kazakhstan during the 18th EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Council meeting.

    On 5 August, Judge ADILOVA Alima Salimgireyevna accepted the case into proceedings without at least the necessary forensic photo-expertise as formal evidence, writing that there were no violations.

    The photo forensic expertise is necessary to prove that it is Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV with a blank sheet of paper in the photo, and the letters were added later in the photomontage.

    In its resolution on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan dated 11 February 2021, the European Parliament condemned the abuse of anti-extremist legislation by the Kazakhstani authorities to persecute supporters of the peaceful opposition movements DCK and “Koshe Partiyasy”.

    We call on the US, the EU, the UK and Canada to impose personal sanctions on: the head of the NSC, Karim MASSIMOV; the General Prosecutor, Gizat NURDAULETOV; and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Yerlan TURGUMBAYEV.