Mukhtar Ablyazov

Mukhtar Ablyazov – Kazakh opposition politician, businessman, political refugee. His business started growing following the collapse of the USSR. In 1997, Ablyazov started working in the public sector. In 1998-1999, he held the post of the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He resigned, stating that the regime of president Nazarbayev was making systemic reforms impossible to carry out.

In 2001, Mukhtar Ablyazov become one of the founders of an influential opposition movement 'Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan'. Following a conflict with president Nazarbayev, he ended up in prison, charged with 'abuse of power'.

In 2003, under pressure from the international community, Nazarbayev freed Ablyazov. In 2005, Mukhtar Ablyazov became the head of the Kazakhstani BTA Bank, in which he was also the majority shareholder. He continued to support financially the political opposition, which led to another conflict with Nazarbayev. In 2009, the BTA Bank was forcibly nationalised, and Ablyazov and his colleagues faced charges of financial fraud.

In 2011, Ablyazov received political asylum status in Great Britain. The Nationalised BTA Bank has, in the meantime, become one of the Kazakhstani authorities' tools of persecution of Ablyazov.

A correspondence of Kazakh officials leaked through an online portal kazaword.wordpress.com confirmed that the criminal case against Ablyazov is fabricated. Kazakhstan has been corrupting and exercising political pressure on Ukraine and Russia within the case against Mukhtar Ablyazov and his former colleagues (in particular Tatiana Paraskevich and Artur Trofimov).

International organisations active in defending human rights and over 60 Members of the European Parliament have on numerous occasions underlined the political character of Ablyazov's case. Many of his former colleagues and family members have received political asylum and additional international protection in Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, USA and in Lithuania.

More information can be found at: mukhtarablyazov.org.