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Statement Regarding the Detention of a Child with his Father by Police


The Kazakhstan NGO Working Group on Child Rights Protection, which has for 20 years defended and promoted the rights and interests of the child, was outraged by the conduct of the Almaty police officers who roughly detained a man together with his 4-year-old child.

Dana Sarsenbaeva, the mother of the detained girl, filed a complaint to the Working Group. The girl was detained with her father and held at the police station until Dana Sarsenbaeva picked her up. The frightened little girl was then turned over to her mother, and the father was left in police detention.

On January 5th, 2023, Abzal Dostiyarov (an activist of the initiative for the creation of a democratic political party) left his house as usual at 8 a.m. with his 4-year-old daughter to take her to kindergarten. In the courtyard, he was forcefully detained by several law enforcement officers. This has been confirmed by CCTV footage – watched by hundreds of Kazakhstani people. According to Dana Sarsenbaeva, Abzal Dostiyarov tried to convince the police officers to take the girl home. However, the law enforcement officers didn’t want to listen to him and took him to the police station along with the child. In the police car, the scared child asked to be taken to her kindergarten. The police officers ignored the request of the child, as they did the request of the father. The father and daughter were taken to the Almaty Auezov region police department. The daughter, extremely stressed by the experience, was detained for two hours until her mother picked her up.

Even if, as the police suggested, the father had committed an offense by going to an unsanctioned rally, a child should not and cannot be held responsible for the actions of their parent. The law enforcement officers grossly violated the rights of the child.

In 1994, Kazakhstan ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Part 1, Article 3 of the UNCRC states that “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”

That is, the actions of the police violated Kazakhstan’s international obligations regarding the child and their legal rights.

The Kazakhstan NGO Working Group on Child Rights Protection asks the competent authorities to intervene in this case and punish all involved in the gross violation of the child’s rights. 

Rosa Akylbekova, Coordinator of the Kazakhstan NGO Working Group on Child Rights Protection