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Political persecution of civil activist Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV from Aktobe. ⠀

On 20 May 2021, the judge of the Investigative Court of Aktobe, ABDIROV Askhat Amantayevich, illegally changed the preventive measure for the duration of the investigation of the politically motivated criminal case under Article 405 Part 2 (“participation in an extremist organisation”) from house arrest to detention in the pre-trial detention facility for Asylkhan ZHAUTATYROV.

On 6 March 2021, Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV was illegally placed under house arrest for 2 months for the duration of the investigation.

On 6 May his house arrest ended, and on 7 May Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV recorded a video appeal to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Augusto Santos Silva, calling on him to raise the issue of human rights violations in Kazakhstan during the 18th meeting of the EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Council.

This video appeal was used as the basis for replacing house arrest with detention in pre-trial detention facility, as it was considered a “violation of the conditions of house arrest”, but the house arrest ended on 6 May, and investigator NURSULTANOV Aisultan did not notify Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV that the house arrest had been extended.

A politically motivated criminal case was opened for a photo taken with a blank white sheet of paper.

Civil activists and their children took similar photos with a blank white sheet of paper which later were used for the challenge (the letters were added to the picture using a photo editor).

We demand the immediate release of political prisoner Asylkhan ZHAUBATYROV and the end to his political persecution.

We call on the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada to impose personal sanctions on: Karim MASSIMOV, head of the NSC; Gizat NURDAULETOV, Prosecutor General; and Yerlan TURGUMBAYEV, Minister of Internal Affairs.