• KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 53

Why Have Cases of Abduction of Women for Marriage Not Decreased in Kazakhstan?

In Kazakhstan, the statistics related to criminal cases regarding the abduction of women as brides does not show material change, a study conducted by analysts at Ranking.kz shows. Referring to the data of the Committee on Legal Statistics and Special Records of the General Prosecutor's Office of Kazakhstan, the authors of the study report that last year, 18 such criminal cases were recorded. Of these, two-thirds (12 cases) were registered in the southern regions, and two cases each in the eastern, western and central parts of the country. The report notes that the problem is characteristic not only of remote rural settlements, but also of large metropolitan areas. Thus, 6 out of 12 ‘southern’ criminal cases of abduction of women were in Almaty, and a single case was registered in Astana. But the number of registered criminal cases on another related criminal offense, namely illegal deprivation of liberty that occurs when a woman is forcibly kept in the house of her fiancé, has noticeably decreased since 2018 from 71 to 13 cases nationwide. It is worth noting that these statistics only partially reflect the situation on the ground as some Kazakhs continue to disguise this criminal offense as the ancient custom of "qyz alyp qashu" (bride kidnapping). According to Artur Lastaev, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Kazakhstan, at least two factors affect the situation. Firstly, Kazakhstan does not have a separate article for abducting women for the purposes of marriage, and therefore all abductions of women are registered under one crime, i.e. Article 125 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Secondly, most of the abductions of women for marriage are not even included in statistical reports as they are often covered up. In his report last year, Lastaev wrote: "We can only guess about the real figures of bride theft. Stereotypes persist in society that do not allow women to report the use of this type of coercion. In most cases, perpetrators and victims are not even aware of the criminal nature of such acts and criminal responsibility for them." According to the data published by the Ombudsman within the framework of the International Scientific and Practical Conference, "Countering domestic violence: problems and solutions", 214 criminal cases have been initiated in Kazakhstan since 2019 for the abduction of women. Of these, 94.3% were terminated due to lack of corpus delicti. Only 10 cases were sent to the courts, and 27 people were brought to bear responsibility for their actions. The Commissioner for Human Rights believes that a separate article for abduction of women for forced marriage should be introduced into the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan. According to Lastaev, this should have a preventative effect and reduce the level of crime against women. The General Prosecutor's Office, where the proposal has been sent, supported the initiative, but amendments to the laws have not yet been adopted. More than a year ago, experts from Kazakhstan’s Institute for Social Development conducted a sociological study on gender...

“I Hope Saltanat’s Family Can Find Peace” – Women of Kazakhstan Speak Out on Bishimbayev’s Sentence

On November 9, 2023, former Kazakh Minister of the National Economy, Kuandyk Bishimbayev was caught on surveillance cameras arguing with and then brutally beating his common-law wife, 31-year-old Saltanat Nukenova, for around eight hours outside a restaurant he owned in Astana. A forensic examination showed that she had been strangled, but the cause of death was recorded as traumatic injury to the brain. The high-profile case which was live-streamed garnered international attention. Despite pleading not guilty to premeditated murder, Bishimbayev was sentenced to 24 years’ imprisonment for torturing and murdering Nukenova, and his cousin Bakytzhan Baizhanov to four years for his part in covering up the crime. Prosecutor Aizhan Aimaganova, who became widely-known during the trial, said in an interview with Tengrinews.kz that she believes the verdict will change the country forever. "Family and domestic violence is a pressing problem... I hope that after this trial, women will realize that going to law enforcement is not useless. It is necessary to talk about problems. I think now any domestic tyrant will think twice before raising his hand," she said. [caption id="attachment_18029" align="aligncenter" width="872"] Prosecutor Aizhan Aimaganova; image: Press service of the Astana Court[/caption] While the length of the sentence is a victory for advocates against gender-based violence, both within Kazakhstan and in the many parts of Europe where the trial was also followed closely, many Kazakhs feel it is still too early to say that justice has been done. In an open discussion that is rare in Central Asia, many citizens are posting their concerns on social media that the Nazarbayev-era official will find a way to get out of prison early: there is already speculation that Bishimbayev, a former member of the country’s elite, will leverage his political connections to secure an early release – or be recognized as terminally ill. Following the verdict, TCA took to the streets of Kazakhstan to ask women their opinion. "I finally feel relieved,” Sara, an SMM manager from Astana told TCA. “Twenty-four years is a justified sentence in my opinion. Although tragic, this case drew public attention to a great many issues, such as the need for both a new law against domestic abuse and charities to support victims of domestic violence, which is very prominent in Kazakhstan. The whole country watched the case unfold, and that attention was put to good use since many other domestic violence cases got the attention they deserved. I hope that our justice system will make sure that Bishimbayev doesn't get a chance to get out early and serve his full sentence. The same applies to Baizhanov." "Considering various aspects, including the status of his family and the presence of his children, this sentence is probably objective, especially given the jury's involvement,” 21-year-old journalist, Kamila told TCA. “The main issue now is to prevent his release on parole once the unrest subsides, though I know this is only possible if the victim’s family give their consent.” "From an objective point of view, 24-years for a brutal...

Kazakhstan Still Repatriating Its Citizens From War Zones

Kazakhstan is still repatriating its citizens from war zones, 24KZ reports. Since 2019, more than 750 Kazakhs have been successfully repatriated to the republic as part of a humanitarian operation. Similar efforts are underway in other Central Asian countries. For example, Uzbek authorities have evacuated more than 500 citizens from conflict zones, compared to 511 in Kyrgyzstan and 381 in Tajikistan. These figures were presented in Tashkent at the first meeting of the Regional Expert Council on Rehabilitation and Reintegration in Central Asia. "The results of our rehabilitation programs are very high. Repatriated women and children do not pose a danger to society and the state. All orphaned children have been taken under the guardianship of their grandparents. Now they are studying at school," psychologist Gulnaz Razdykova said. However, the UN's under-secretary-general Vladimir Voronkov has commented: "Unfortunately, there are still a huge number of people still in camps and detention centers in northeastern Syria and Iraq. First, women and children. We estimate that this is about 55,000 to 60,000 people as of today. So, there is still a lot of work to be done to unload these camps and bring back those who deserve a normal life." Thanks to the active efforts of the Kazakhstani authorities, 180 women, more than 500 children and 37 men have already returned home. In addition, another 34 children left without parents have been successfully reunited with their grandparents. In 2018, Kazakhstan approved a state program to counter religious extremism and terrorism. The special operation to return Kazakh citizens from Syria and Iraq was called "Zhusan", which is Kazakh for wormwood, found on the country's steppe and which symbolizes home for many Kazakhs.

Nationwide Survey on Domestic Violence in Kazakhstan Publishes Results

A large-scale statistical analysis on domestic violence in Kazakhstan was conducted by three professors from Karaganda Medical University: Saule Musabekova, Ksenia Mkhitaryan and Hamida Abdukadirova. The study, conducted between 2019 and 2022, covered 14,342 women between the ages of 18 and 75 from 14 regions of Kazakhstan. The questionnaire included questions about health, children, partners, violence and its consequences, financial independence, and cases of sexual abuse in childhood. The study showed that the main victims of domestic violence in Kazakhstan are women (more than 77.9%). Next on the list are children (17.52%), elderly people (3.5%) and men (less than 1.1%). It is important to note that not all victims seek help from the police or hospitals. Therefore, there may be many more victims. According to the results of the study, the most vulnerable age group is women from 40 to 49 years (41.46%) and from 30 to 39 years (37.80%). Victims of domestic violence were most often unemployed women or those with low levels of education, with two or more children, and economically dependent on their husbands. Most of the victims of violence were from urban areas (63%). It was also found that violence against women is committed by strangers in only 12.2% of cases. In 87.8% it is committed by men with whom the victims are in a close relationship. Almost all of them are intimate partners of the victims (in 95-98% of cases). Half of the women interviewed stated that their intimate partners had attacked them while they were pregnant or raising young children. The forms of systematic violence varied. The most common were physical violence, experienced by 78% of respondents; psychological violence, experienced by 21% of respondents; sexual and physical violence, 16%; economic violence, 7%; and regular sexual violence, 6% of respondents. More than half of the respondents (57%) also stated that over the past year they have faced one of the above forms of abusive behavior more than once (from 2 to 8 times). Almost all cases of violence against women (98.2%) occurred when the abuser was intoxicated. Other factors cited by female researchers were economic problems and male unemployment. Incidents of violence most often occurred at home in the evening and at night (91%). Two-thirds of women (66%) said they had suffered at least one injury after partner violence. The study also took into account physical and sexual abuse of women by men with whom they were not in an intimate relationship. In 92%, the abusers were family members, friends and coworkers, and only 8% were unknown men. The researchers noted that Kazakhstan only formally supports the main international commitments to gender equality. Domestic violence and general tolerance to it persist in the country. "Gender roles and cultural norms are clearly expressed in some regions of Kazakhstan: in the south of the country, educated women often do not look for work outside the home because of the priority of domestic duties, and attempts to restrict women in their choice of occupation are quite common. Thus,...

Kuandyk Bishimbayev Given 24 Years in Prison — But Kazakhs Ask How Long He Will Really Serve

On May 13, Kazakhstan’s former Minister of National Economy Kuandyk Bishimbayev was sentenced to 24 years in prison for the torture and murder of his common-law wife Saltanat Nukenova in November 2023. While the length of the sentence is a victory for advocates against gender-based violence, both within Kazakhstan and in the many parts of Europe where the trial was also followed closely, many Kazakhs feel that it is still too early to say that justice has been done. In an open discussion that is rare in Central Asia, many citizens are posting their concerns on social media that the Nazarbayev-era official will find a way to get out of prison early: there is already speculation that Bishimbayev, a former member of the country’s elite, will leverage his political connections to secure an early release – or be recognized as terminally ill. Attempting to quell these fears, state prosecutor Aizhan Aimaganova has said that under Kazakhstani law, Bishimbayev will be able to apply for parole only after serving 16 years, two-thirds of his sentence – and only then with the consent of Saltanat Nukenova’s family, guided by her brother, Aitbek Amangeldy. Saltanat Nukenova's murder has shown that civil society is very much alive in President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s Kazakhstan. As previously reported, shortly after her death in November last year, a public movement called Zhana Adamdar organized an authorized rally in Almaty to raise awareness about violence against women and children. Yesterday, on the day of the sentencing, supporters of another Kazakh feminist movement, Feminita, protested in Almaty, Kazakhstan's biggest city. The group is demanding life imprisonment for Saltanat Nukenova’s murderer. "We do not agree with this sentence; [Bishimbayev] should sit in prison for life. He will come out sooner anyway – we urge you never to be silent: if you have the desire and will for it, resist," Vlast.kz quoted Feminita co-founder Zhanar Sekerbaeva as saying. The spokesperson for the Astana court where Bishimbayev was sentenced, Alma Yesymova, has commented that he has received the maximum possible sentence for the crimes he was found guilty of: murder and torture. "The punishment was imposed for committing a particularly grave crime – murder. The sanction for this is a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment. And by partial addition of terms [Bishimbayev] was given four more years for torture. Under the law the very maximum sentence is 25 years, while he was given 24 years," Yesymova said at a press conference after the trial. The trial itself drew criticism from Kazakhstan’s legal professionals. Lawyers and human rights activists are unsatisfied with how both the prosecution and the defense were conducted. Following Nukenova's death, President Tokayev signed a Decree in December 2023 to improve human rights and the rule of law, including by promoting gender equality, combating any form of domestic violence and enhancing the performance of the criminal justice system (which, among other things, involved increasing penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence). The human rights components of the President’s reform agenda was...

Kuandyk Bishimbayev Sentenced to 24 Years for the Murder of Saltanat Nukenova

Kuandyk Bishimbayev, a former Minister of National Economy of Kazakhstan under then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev, was sentenced on Monday to 24 years in prison in the specialized inter-district investigative court of Astana for torturing and murdering his common-law wife, Saltanat Nukenova, at the Gastrocenter Restaurant on November 9, 2023. The verdict and sentence in an Astana courtroom followed a live-streamed trial that galvanized discussion about domestic violence in Kazakhstan and tested the ability of the criminal justice system to hold the powerful and influential to account. Rallies in support of Nukenova spread outside of Kazakhstan, and were staged in Czechia, Georgia, Italy, Spain, and numerous other countries. [caption id="attachment_17886" align="alignnone" width="2048"] A rally in Prague in support of Saltanat Nukenova. Image Source: Asel Kamiyeva [/caption] Judge Aizhan Kulbaeva read out the ruling after a jury trial as Bishimbayev stood in the glass-paneled dock, his head bowed at one point. He had acknowledged beating Nukenova and said his actions, which were captured on CCTV video, led to her death. But he claimed he did not intend to kill her. "Bishimbayev Kuandyk Alikhanovich has been found guilty of committing criminal offenses under p. 1. 2 part 2 of article 110 ("Torture") and point 5 part 2 of article 99 ("Murder"). 2 part 2 of article 99 ("Murder") of the Criminal Code," stated the judge. He was sentenced to 7 years on the first count, and 20 years on the second, which after a partial addition of terms amounted to 24 years in prison. [caption id="attachment_17896" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image from the Astana court session[/caption] In addition, the director of Gastrocenter, Bakhytzhan Baizhanov was found guilty of harboring a particularly serious crime in advance and sentenced to four years in prison in a medium security penal institution, with time already served being taken into account. During the trial, as public outrage over Nukenova’s killing simmered in Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a new law in April in line with OECD standards which tightens the penalties for domestic violence and provides more help for survivors. The legislation became widely-dubbed, "Saltanat's Law." The response to Saltanat Nukenova's harrowing attack signals a positive trend for women’s rights in the region. The case quickly advanced to a jury trial, given full transparency via a live broadcast, with a female prosecutor at the helm — a clear stance on gender violence in Kazakhstan. Human Rights Watch commended the law as a step forward, but say it should have designated domestic violence as “stand-alone offense,” which would allow other types of violence within the family, such as psychological or sexual, to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. The UNDP, meanwhile, commended “legislative initiatives protecting women’s [and] children’s rights,” calling them a “crucial step towards equality, justice [and] safety for all citizens” that “lay a foundation for a stable, prosperous society.” This is not be the first time that Bishimbayev has been sentenced. In 2018 he received a ten-year sentence for accepting bribes, but after less than a year later he was pardoned...

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