• KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01181 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09411 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Kyrgyz Security Chief’s Brother-In-Law Detained on Large-Scale Fraud Charges

The brother-in-law of the head of Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (SCNS), Kamchybek Tashiyev, has been detained on suspicion of large-scale fraud. The investigation found that the relative, having conspired with a Turkish citizen by deceit and breach of trust, took possession of a large sum of money from a local businessman, who then appealed to the SCNS with a corresponding statement. The Committee said that despite close family relations, Tashiyev was instructed to conduct an objective investigation and give a legal assessment. Based on the decision of the Pervomaisky District Court of Bishkek, the suspects were detained and taken into custody as part of the investigation. The investigation is underway, and measures are being taken to compensate the injured party.

EU Urges Tajikistan to Investigate Human Rights Violations

The European Union has once again called on the Tajik authorities to investigate human rights violations thoroughly and expressed concern about imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, and bloggers. This was announced at the eleventh annual meeting of the European Union-Tajikistan Cooperation Committee held in Dushanbe. “An independent and active civil society together with free media is essential for developing a democratic society,” the EU Delegation in Tajikistan stated. Between 2022 and 2023, eight independent Tajik journalists and bloggers were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 7 to 21 years. Several human rights defenders and civil activists were also convicted during this period. Neither statements by international organizations and human rights defenders, individual appeals to the president, nor public outcry saved them from imprisonment. The authorities found them guilty of collaborating with banned organizations, but the journalists themselves confessed under pressure and torture. The EU report also mentions the May 2022 events in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, when 34 people were killed following widespread protests and the response by security forces, where dozens of people, including civil activists, were detained and thrown behind bars for long terms. Authorities call them “members of criminal groups,” but relatives of the victims say most of them were simple civilians who had no weapons. Western organizations and countries believe that Tajik authorities violated human rights in suppressing the rally. The EU said that during the discussions, both sides exchanged views on regional and international interest issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, the increased threat of global terrorism and violent extremism, the environment, energy, trade, and other regional priorities.

Head of Kazakhstan Football Federation Under Investigation by UEFA

UEFA is investigating Adilet Barmenkulov, the president of the Football Federation of Kazakhstan. In 2022, the businessman succeeded Adilbek Jaxybekov - who had been at the helm of football in Kazakhstan since 2018. "Adilet Barmenkulov is being investigated for knowing about match-fixing and doing nothing about it, suggesting that he had a vested interest in the matches or in favors owed to him by other officials," Inside The Games reported. Barmenkulov posted a video statement on social media confirming that match-fixing had occurred in the past, but denying that the problem persists. Many prominent figures from the world of soccer have complained, stating that since he knew about it, Barmenkulov is responsible, whether through his actions or inaction. "I agree that it is difficult to change the structure of a soccer club when past victories were achieved through questionable means," Barmenkulov said in the video message. He argued, however, that leaders must act systemically rather than locally, and to bring order to soccer in the country it is necessary to act together, not on an ad hoc basis. Clubs must stop trying to bribe referees, he said, and "from now on, I will make corruption in soccer known and public". Inside The Games characterized Barmenkulov's statement as "clearly indicating not only his awareness but also his inaction on the issue of foul play". Earlier, Barmenkulov had been criticized by Kazakhs for hiring the Russian, Stanislav Cherchesov, as head coach of Kazakhstan’s national soccer team. Sources claim that Cherchesov, the former head coach of the Russian national team, will receive a salary of $1.2 million a year.

Law Firm That Helped Johnny Depp Has Another Big Client: Kazakhstan

Two American attorneys who represented actor Johnny Depp in his libel case against former wife Amber Heard have visited Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Court and spoken to Kazakh university students this week. Attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew work for Brown Rudnick, an international law firm that has a client in Kazakhstan: the Ministry of Justice. The firm, whose primary address is in Boston, has been engaged to help the Kazakh ministry in legal processes in Britain and the United States, according to a February filing with the U.S. Department of Justice. In recent years, Kazakh authorities have pursued an international campaign to recover assets that they say were stolen and moved abroad. Vasquez and Chew became familiar faces for many people during the Depp vs. Heard 2022 trial, which was livestreamed and set off a fresh round of debate about celebrity culture and the MeToo movement. A jury awarded $15 million to Depp, who had accused Heard of lying when she said he had abused her, though it also awarded $2 million to Heard in a separate decision. Later, Depp agreed to receive $1 million and pledged it to charity. Vasquez in particular became something of a celebrity herself during and after the trial. She has worked as a legal analyst for NBC News and was elevated to partner at Brown Rudnick, which had helped Depp. Chew joined the firm as a partner in 2018. Vasquez “talked about the importance of personal brand in the court of law and in the court of public opinion” in comments at the International School of Journalism of Maqsut Narikbayev University in Astana, the Kazakh capital, the school said on Wednesday. The school, which opened last year after a presidential instruction, said the lawyer offered tips about embracing identity, creating value, how to “grow” and time management. As the attorney spoke, images appeared on the screen behind her. One showed Depp in his “Pirates of the Caribbean” garb. Vasquez and Chew also visited the Constitutional Court in Astana and discussed gender equality and strengthening women's rights in the judiciary, Tengri News reported, citing the court’s press service.

Mixed Results for Kazakhstan in Media Freedom Rankings

Analysts at Ranking.kz have provided an overview of press freedom in Kazakhstan and alleged violations against journalists. According to the International Foundation for the Protection of Freedom of Expression, Әdil sөz, there was a 20.1% decrease in incidents of violations against correspondents last year, with 434 incidents in 2023 and 141 from January to May this year. Additionally, reports of pre-trial claims or lawsuits against individual journalists or editorial offices declined by 5% in 2023. Despite this, seven court decisions led to various sentences for journalists at the end of 2023. The most common violation was obstruction of legitimate professional activities, with 51 cases, including six violent ones, primarily involving police and state employees. Threats to journalists and editorial offices were also significant, with 44 incidents reported. Nonviolent attempts to coerce journalists were noted to have decreased slightly. However, despite fewer reported violations, according to Reporters Without Borders, censorship issues have worsened. Kazakhstan's press freedom ranking fell from 134th to 142nd in 2024, with a score of 41.11 out of 100. In contrast, Kyrgyzstan ranks highest in Central Asia at 120th, while Turkmenistan remains one of the worst globally in 175th place.

Case Opened Against Subsidiary of Russia’s Lukoil in Uzbekistan

The Committee for the Development of Competition and Consumer Protection of Uzbekistan has initiated a case against Lukoil Overseas Supply and Trading Ltd, a subsidiary of Russia's Lukoil, the Committee's press service has reported. The Committee's staff state that they identified signs of the manipulation of the price of technical sulfur by Lukoil in their selling of products through exchange trading. As a result, the price of technical sulfur rose between 10 to 50%, meaning the company violated the law "on competition." Additional information will be made available once the Committee reaches a decision on how it will proceed. Lukoil Overseas Supply and Trading Ltd was established in April 2010 as part of a marketing campaign for the sale of joint products during the implementation of production sharing agreements in respect to several gas fields. It entered the exchange-trade market for technical sulfur in Uzbekistan in 2015. Today, the company and Uzbekneftegaz dominate the technical sulfur market.