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Activist Alnur Ilyashev Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison in Almaty

Monday 22 June 2020

Almaty (Satrapia) — The civil activist Alnur Ilyashev has been sentenced to three years in prison in Almaty.

In announcing her verdict, Judge Zalina Makharadze said:

The court sentenced: Ilyashev Alnur Kairatovich to be found guilty of committing a crime under article 274, paragraph 2, subparagraph 4 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (intentional dissemination of false information), and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment with forced labour — 100 hours per year for the entire sentence.

The court justified the verdict by considering mitigating circumstances in making its decision.

Alnur Ilyashev

It should be recalled that on 17 April, the well-known political activist Alnur Ilyashev was arrested in Almaty. According to the police, he was suspected of deliberately spreading false information. On 18 April, Ilyashev was detained and held for two months. Among other things, the security forces accused him of having called on the authorities to resign and criticized Nur Otan party.

The human rights activist and director of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, Yevgeny Zhovtis, finds the link between the information about the Nur Otan party in the case and Ilyashev in relation to the state of emergency incomprehensible. The Nur Otan party itself denies any involvement in Ilyashev’s prosecution. However, these statements contradict the criminal case, according to which the police accuse the political activist, inter alia, of the fact that “the content of Alnur Ilyashev’s articles submitted for research contains negative information concerning the NGO Nur Otan Party.”

Ilyashev’s trial began on 12 June. As the activist himself stated at the hearing on 18 June, he faced up to four years and eight months in prison. On the following day, 19 June, the prosecutor requested three years in prison against Ilyashev with an additional sentence of prohibition of public activities for a period of five years.

On 22 June, lawyer Vitaly Voronov announced that a criminal case against Ilyashev had been initiated unilaterally by a police officer. The activist himself, who had the last word, said that his case could be described as “Nur Otan against freedom of expression.”


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