Kazakhstan: Prominent sinologist arrested on high treason charges

Konstantin Syroyezhkin (file photo)

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s authorities have arrested a leading sinologist in the country, Konstantin Syroyezhkin, on charges of high treason, RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service reported.

The Committee of National Security said on May 17 that the 62-year-old expert had been arrested in February.

It did not give any details on the case.

The committee’s statement comes after weeks of unconfirmed media reports saying that Syroyezhkin had been arrested for alleged espionage.

Syroyezhkin, a native of the southeastern Kazakh city of Almaty, has worked as an expert and analyst at the presidential Institute for Strategic Research since 2006.

He is the author of more than 1,000 analytical and research works on China and Kazakh-Chinese relations, written in Russian, Chinese, and English.

Questions about Syroyezhkin’s whereabouts started circulating in the media after he failed to show up at two conferences in Kazakhstan that he was scheduled to attend.

The head of Kazakhstan’s Bureau for Human Rights, Yevgeny Zhovtis, told RFE/RL at the time that the researcher might have been arrested.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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