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Crime and Punishment in Kazakhstan

Categories: Central Asia & Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, Media & Journalism

Blogger's Trial

Kazis Toguzbayev, a journalist who uploaded his articles on KUB [1], a group blog, was tried [2] in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 22 January. In his article, Toguzbayev implied that the President was covering the murders of the opposition figures. He got a two-year suspended sentence for violating the Criminal Code provisions on insulting the honor and dignity of the President with the use of media.

Toguzbayev was posting all the materials of his proceedings, as well as the court decision on the same blog, sparking debates around his case.

Iwann wrote (RUS):

Do not be afraid of those who are afraid of you!.. Though it is a pity he was not imprisoned – would be good for the cause of democracy.

Aziat replied (RUS):

Feel free to try it yourself. Write something angry and revelatory, publish in the Net and wait. When they come after you, you shout – “satraps! murderers!”, and that's it. You will be jailed. It will make you a pride and a pioneer of democracy.

M.Heidegger said (RUS):

Wouldn't call it a victory, but Toguzbayev has done a lot for freedom of speech in Kazakhstan.

Doctors’ Trial: Behind the Closed Doors

The investigation in the case of infection of 87 infants with HIV in the South-Kazakhstani hospitals culminated on 19 January with the trial of 21 people, 18 of whom are medical workers, in the District Court of Shymkent. Since the case opened, 8 children died, and one of them was adopted by American citizens. Neither public nor media was not allowed to be present at the trial. The names of the victims, as well as the acussed were not disclosed. “Good-bye, democracy!” commented [3]LJ user romanil in Kazakhstan politics community.

Mira Baktyhova of neweurasia doubted [4]that the accussed would get a term – some of them are high-ranking officials. “The media representatives were asked not to bother the judges on this topic and that they would receive no single comment even on the phone. Any questions from journalists will be considered as media pressure on the court.”

MP's Son: Will there be a Trial?

On 19 January Serik Ayashev, a son of a Member of the Parliament Onalsyn Ayashev, shot the security guard in one of the elite houses in Astana. LJ gulimeo informed [5] (RUS) that on the day of the incident, the police officers did not arrest Ayashev-junior, thus giving him the opportunity to leave. His father reassured that Serik Ayashev would come to the police himself. But he didn't. Instead the police arrested him after 9 days of waiting.