Kazakhstan: WHRD sentenced to 2-month house arrestEvent
- Initial Date
- Nov 18, 2022
- Event Description
Kazakh authorities have warned citizens of the Central Asian nation against holding rallies on November 20 when voting will take place in an early presidential election.
The Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement on November 18 that "a banned group has been calling for illegal rallies and other illegal activities" on the day of the vote, adding that "those who follow such calls will face legal prosecution."
The statement did not mention the group, but a day earlier, the Committee of National Security said it detained seven people suspected of planning "riots" during the presidential election, following online calls for action by exiled former banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, his Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK), and the Koshe (Street) Party, which are banned in the country as extremist.
In recent days, Ablyazov has called on Kazakh citizens to hold mass protests on November 20 saying the vote is illegal as no real opposition candidates were allowed to take part in the contest against President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev in the tightly controlled country.
Meanwhile Kazakh authorities have detained dozens of opposition and human rights activists in efforts to ward off the possibility of such demonstrations.
On November 18, a court in Almaty sentenced opposition activist Aigerim Tileuzhan to two months of house arrest for her role in unprecedented anti-government protests in January that were violently dispersed by police, leaving at least 238 people, including 19 law enforcement officers, dead.
Toqaev faces five opponents whom he is expected to easily beat in the November 20 snap leadership vote where a newly introduced seven-year term is up for grabs.
While he appears to be taking the election challengers lightly -- as evidenced by the fact that he sent a representative to the only televised debate among candidates last week -- opposition activists have been piling on pressure for an explanation of his decision to invite troops from the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to quell the January unrest, as well as his public "shoot to kill without warning" order.
The unrest occurred after a peaceful demonstration in the western region of Manghystau on January 2 over a fuel price hike tapped into deep-seated resentment of the country's leadership, leading to widespread anti-government protests.
Thousands of people were detained by officials during and after the protests, which Toqaev said were caused by "20,000 terrorists" from abroad, a claim for which authorities have provided no evidence.
Human rights groups have provided evidence that peaceful demonstrators and people who had nothing to do with the protests were among those killed by law enforcement and military personnel.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Judicial Harassment
- Restrictions on Movement
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of movement
- Freedom of expression
- Community-based HRD
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 18 November 2022, Aigerim Tileuzhan, community-based WHRD, was sentenced to 2-month house arrest for her role in the anti-government protests by a court in Almaty, Kazakhstan.