On October 18, courts in Kazakhstan imposed 15 days of administrative arrest to seven activists: four in Astana and three in Almaty. All of them were condemned for violating the law on peaceful assemblies, said the Qaharman Kz human rights group on Facebook.
Experts have established that Seilkhan Tusbekov, Marat Temirbekov, Mereke Nugmanov and Aidar Syzdykov were arrested in the capital for 15 days. These activists were brought to court for taking part in a run in support of Marat Zhylanbaev, leader of the party “Alga, Kazakhstan!”, who is in pre-trial detention on charges of participating in the activities of a banned organization and financing extremism. The action was held on October 7.
In Almaty, Nurtay Shegebekuly, Darkhan Valiyev and Asan Dzhakupbekov received “administrative penalties”. Shegebekuly and Valiyev were detained for coming to the September 19 appeal trial concerning the seizure of the city airport during last year’s January events. Although no one was allowed into the courthouse that day, many activists were later suspected of taking part in an “unauthorized rally”. Dzhakupbekov was prosecuted for coming to the Justice Department office on May 5 and deciding to confirm his signature as a member of an initiative group to create the opposition party “Alga, Kazakhstan!“.
Representatives of Qaharman Kz also mentioned how security forces put pressure on several other public activists in different cities of the country. Some of them complained about surveillance, others were detained by the police and are awaiting trial. Human rights advocates link the mass persecution of activists with the peaceful protests planned for October 25, during Kazakhstan’s Republic Day.
On October 17, it was reported that the mayor’s offices of Almaty and Astana denied “Alga, Kazakhstan!” the right to hold a rally for the freedom of political prisoners on October 25. Authorities explained their decision by saying that the date was occupied with previously agreed events.