On the basis of information provided by International Partnership Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR), the CIVICUS Monitor has published a special three-part series on threats to civic space in Kazakhstan. Below we re-post the third part of this series, which focuses on the freedom of peaceful assembly and discusses the latest developments related to the regulation of the right to protest in Kazakhstan. The first two parts on freedom of association and expression are available here.
- As a small group of people gathered for a picket in support of the two activists in Almaty on 23rd October, the organisers were detained and two of them were sentenced to ten days of administrative arrest. On 25th October, civil society activist Zhattik Tazhkennova and human rights defender Yelena Semenova were detained and fined after holding up placards in support of Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan outside the court building where the trial against the two activists was taking place in Atyrau.
#Kazakhstan Elena Semenova & Shattik Tazhkenova arrested for protesting against the detention of two other activists https://t.co/INVHdlsv07 pic.twitter.com/yJnScosLUX
— Front Line Defenders (@FrontLineHRD) October 27, 2016
- Ahead of Independence Day on 16th December, several civil society activists in the city of Uralsk were “preventively” detained and warned not to participate in protests on that day. In Almaty, civil society activist Almat Zhumagulova was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest for re-posting the Facebook post of a civil society activist living abroad, in which he called for holding a rally on 16th December.
- Following the court decision of January 2017 to close down the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (please see the CIVICUS Monitor’s previous post on freedom of association in Kazakhstan for more information), oil workers in the Mangystau region launched a peaceful hunger strike to protest against this decision. As of mid-January 2017, several hundred workers were reported to be participating. However, on 19th January, an Aktau court ruled that the hunger strike was unlawful and participants are now facing sanctions. The hunger strike was called off following the arrest of two of its leading figures on 20th January.