• KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00217 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09413 -0.42%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00061 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 25

Trial of Former Minister Bishimbayev Charged with Murdering Wife Begins

On March 27, the trial of former Minister of the Economy, Kuandyk Bishimbayev, who is accused of murdering his wife, Saltanat Nukenova, began in Astana. A live broadcast of the trial was available on the YouTube channel of the Supreme Court. Preliminary hearings in the case against former Minister, Kuandyk Bishimbayev had begun on March 11, with the indictment being read out and the defense filing a motion asking for a jury trial. In court yesterday, the prosecutor, Aizhan Aimaganova read out a long list of injuries sustained by Nukenova as revealed during her autopsy: "Closed craniocerebral trauma, multiple abrasions, facial bruising, splinter fracture of the nasal bones, wounds to the chin area, hemorrhage in the soft tissues of the face, head, and occipital area, and acute subdural hematoma. When analyzing Nukenova's internal organs, no narcotic, medicinal or psychotropic substances were found," Aimaganova added. "Kuandyk Bishimbayev is accused of causing physical and mental suffering by means of systematic beatings or other violent actions committed against a person who was financially dependent on the perpetrator," the prosecution stated. Following the prosecutor's speech, the judge asked the defendant for his plea, to which Bishimbayev replied “not guilty” before explaining the reasons for his response. "I didn't have a chance to tell my story at the pre-trial investigation, not anywhere. At all. Everything read out by the prosecutor are largely fabrications, for which there is no confirmation or evidence. According to Article 110, I have not committed such a crime at all. Therefore, I do not admit my guilt," Bishimbayev stated, adding that he hoped for an opportunity to express himself thoroughly. To the next count, namely article 99, part 2, paragraph 5, "Murder committed with particular cruelty," Beshimbayev also pled not guilty, stating that "I did not commit the premeditated murder of a human being with particular cruelty." Also in court accused of concealing a serious crime, Bakhytzhan Baizhanov, the director of BAU's Gastro-center where the crime allegedly took place, said he was not sure if he had committed this crime. "I confess that I asked to delete the video recordings [from the surveillance cameras] and asked to take Saltanat's phone home [to hide the geolocation]. I don't know if I committed a crime. At that time, I didn’t know whether Saltanat was dying or dead," Baizhanov said. The next session in the case is scheduled for March 29.   What Bishimbayev is accused of: Article 110, part 2, paragraph 1, item 1 of the Criminal Code: "Causing physical and mental suffering by systematic beatings with violent actions committed against a person who is materially dependent on the perpetrator"; Article 99, part 2, paragraph 5: "Murder committed with particular cruelty"; Article 14, paragraph 2 - according to the prosecution's version, Bishimbayev's actions are considered a dangerous recidivism of this crime. The law states that “Dangerous repetition of crimes shall be recognized as commission by person.”

Scandal on Khabar TV Raises Discussions About Domestic Violence in Kazakhstan

A scandal which erupted on Kazakhstan's state television channel, Khabar, has caused huge public outrage. At the center of events was a woman named Gulmira, who had suffered years of abuse at the hands of her husband. Her story became the subject of discussion on the talk show, Birak, which is dedicated to family relations. On Khabar, Gulmira spoke about the eighteen years of beatings and violence she had suffered in her marriage. She ran away from her hard drinking husband with her six children, but he found her in Astana, and arranged another humiliation, with the talk show hosts secretly and without any warning bringing her husband to the studio, which caused Gulmira to break down live on air. The shows hosts even tried to reconcile the spouses, which only served to aggravate the already extremely strained situation. On social networks, the public actively discussed the abhorrent behavior of the presenters and espoused their support for Gulmira. Videos were created which commented on the show, and many media outlets spoke out in defense of the woman, emphasizing the fact that such things should not be staged on national television. As a result of the wave of indignation, the state television channel Khabar decided to stop airing the talk show Birak. The Minister of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan, Aida Balayeva, promised to shut down the talk show, stating that the problem of family violence requires serious attention. This event took place against the background of huge public attention on the trial of former Minister of the National Economy, Kuandyk Bishembayev, who is accused of murdering his wife. In such an environment, any justification for the actions of an aggressor on state TV was deemed hugely inappropriate and only served to highlight the issue of domestic violence.

Central Asia’s First Center for the Support of Women and Girls to Open in Kyrgyzstan

Women whose rights are violated at home and at work will now be able to receive protection at a special center, according to the Kyrgyz Republic's Ministry of Labor, Social Security and Migration. It will be the first such center in Central Asia in support of female victims of violence, and will offer women and girls free psychological and legal assistance, as well as medical examinations. "When the one-stop shop opens, women and girls will receive all necessary services in one place, namely investigative and forensic medical examinations, as well as legal and psychological assistance," Deputy  Minister of Labor, Social Security and Migration, Zhanyl Alybayeva said at a meeting with international organizations and human rights activists. Alybayeva stated that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime is providing technical support for the center's opening. According to statistics, the number of cases of domestic violence against women in Kyrgyzstan today remains high. In 2022, according to official data, 8,620 cases of domestic violence against women were registered, and in the first 10 months of 2023, there were more than 8,000 instances. The majority of those who contacted law enforcement are women between the age of 18 and 34. At the end of last year, parliament ratified the international convention on the eradication of violence and harassment in the field of labor. A draft law "on amendments to some legislative acts of the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of protection and defense against family, sexual and gender violence" was also put forward. In their debate, MPs noted that most women who suffer from violence do not turn to law enforcement, and therefore the real figures are almost certainly much higher. The new bill also stipulates that perpetrators of violence within the family must temporarily leave the dwelling they share with the victim. "After an act of violence within the family, victims usually move out to acquaintances or to crisis centers, and then the family collapses," MP Dinara Ashimova said. "With this bill, we propose that it should be the accused who has to leave. Even when he returns, there will be a greater likelihood that the spouses will reconcile and the family will be preserved." Currently, ratification of the international convention is awaiting President Japarov's signature.

Uzbekistan to Strengthen Protections Against Domestic Violence

Following a project board meeting on February 7th, the UNDP has released plans to provide free legal aid in criminal proceedings for victims of domestic and gender-based violence. In April 2023, Uzbekistan followed Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine in criminalizing domestic violence. The impetus for this was the ever-increasing number of sex crimes perpetrated on women and minors. For example, in 2019, 99 people were convicted of sexual offenses involving a child under the age of 16, but by 2022, that number was 238. Last April, President Mirziyoyev signed amendments to legislation on the protection of the rights and freedoms of women and children. Experts from both within the government and NGOs, as well as activists from the Nemolchi.uz project, which helps protect women and children from violence, worked on the changes. The new version removes the right for perpetrators of sexual violence to use the argument of mitigating circumstances, and abolishes the right to early parole. Forced abortions can also be punishable by up to three years of correctional labor under certain circumstances. In addition, offenders who have committed sexual violence against a minor will no longer be able to use the argument that they did not know the victim's real age. One of the most anticipated innovations was the criminalization of domestic violence. According to the Committee of Family and Women of Uzbekistan, 21,871 protection orders were issued to victims of harassment and violence in the first seven months of 2023 alone. In 84.7% of those cases, the violence occurred within the family. Administrative or criminal punishment was meted out corresponding to 5,495 protection orders. In Uzbekistan, the overwhelming majority of families adhere to traditional patterns and recognize the dominant position of men as head of the family. Very often, women suffering from domestic violence do not speak about their issues out of fear of condemnation by their families and communities. In addition, such victims are usually financially dependent on the aggressor. In rural areas, girls are married off at a young age without receiving any education. As the UN Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, Matilda Dimovska observes, "criminalizing public sexual harassment is an important step in combating violence against girls and women. It is a logical continuation of the commitment to gender equality demonstrated at the highest level in Uzbekistan. The adopted legislation makes harassment in public places an administrative offense punishable by a fine of $60-150." In 2023, 666 people were convicted of sexual harassment in Uzbekistan. In recent years, along with its international partners, Uzbekistan has made tangible progress in combating violence against women and children. With UNDP support, a mobile application called Najot (Salvation) was developed with the aim of protecting the rights of victims of violence and providing them with timely assistance. The UNDP also launched a pilot initiative, Call Umida in Uzbekistan in March 2022. "Umida" means hope in Uzbek, and is a common name among women. Places and businesses that have joined the initiative are set up to immediately...

Domestic Violence Victims Can Now Obtain EU Refugee Status After Ruling

Women who have suffered from domestic violence have the right to seek asylum in European Union (EU) countries, according to an EU Court of Justice ruling on January 16th. Anyone who has been subjected to physical and psychological violence, including sexual or domestic violence, can apply. If the those who apply do not meet the conditions for refugee status, they can claim additional measures of protection. Refugee status may already be granted to third-country nationals who are persecuted on racial, religious, or national grounds, as well as on the basis of political convictions or membership of a particular social group. According to the judges, threats from relatives "because of an alleged violation of cultural, religious or traditional norms" may qualify. Consequently, genital mutilation or forced marriage are often reasons for absconding, which women will have to disclose to authorities at the first interview. The EU came to this decision after the story of a Turkish national, a girl of Kurdish origin was forcibly married by her family. In the marriage, she was beaten and threatened by her husband, but managed to escape. The woman, who feared that her life would be in danger if she returned to Turkey, sought help and asked for international protection in Bulgaria. The local justices then referred the case to the Court of Justice of the EU. Karl Kopp, a migration expert for Pro Asyl - an independent human rights organization that advocates for the rights of refugees in Europe and Germany - said that the outcome is positive, and more women will be able to receive protection in the future. At present, Kazakhstan is discussing the issue of toughening punishment for domestic violence. A joint study by the Union of Crisis Centers and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation found that in 2021, the public safety authorities of Kazakhstan received almost 115,000 complaints of domestic violence. Of these, only 40% of cases made it to court, whilst 39% of perpetrators got off with sentences that restricted their freedom for periods ranging from two hours to three days.

Senator Zhanna Asanova: the bill against domestic violence is ready to be submitted to the Majilis

According to the prominent Kazakh senator Zhanna Asanova, in 2023 domestic violence claimed the lives of 69 women and children, and more than 99,000 people sought help for this reason. A total of 2,452 crimes against children were registered. In a post on Facebook, Ms Asanova announced that a bill aimed at countering domestic violence is ready to be submitted to Kazakhstan’s parliament, the Majilis. She stressed that a number of experts on women's and children's rights were involved in creating the bill. Senator Asanova also emphasized that state agencies, in partnership with Kazakhstan’s children's ombudsman Dinara Zakiyeva, are working to increase the number of guardianship officers to 1,650 people. Currently there are only 309 of them in the country. Ms Asanova wrote: "As the president noted, any legislative changes will not be effective unless there is complete rejection, 'zero tolerance' in society, for any form of aggression and violence." The bill includes the following measures: 1. Criminalization of violence, which implies the establishment of criminal liability for battery and causing minor harm to health (currently these crimes are regulated by the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Kazakhstan). 2. Classifying these crimes as criminal offenses requiring public prosecution in order to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement. 3. Toughening the punishment for these crimes and excluding the possibility of reconciliation of the parties to all forms of violence against children, in order to ensure the protection of the rights and interests of children. 4. Creation of infrastructure for assistance to families and children, including the opening of Family Support Centers and Centers for Psychological Support of Children, to provide comprehensive assistance to victims. 5. Introduction of special requirements in the Criminal Code, including psychological work with the aggressor, in order to prevent repeated cases of violence and to rehabilitate perpetrators of such crimes.

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