Hot topics:

The calendar of the strikes of oil workers and of political persecution in Kazakhstan (February, 2012)

February, 2012

02.02.2012 – In the office of the ‘Golos Respubliki’ newspaper in Almaty, the workers of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan seized computers and other equipment. All the speakers of the press conference held on the 30th of January 30, namely: Oksana Makushina, Lana Vinyavskaya and Sergey Utkin were ordered to report to the NSC for questioning.

02.02.2012 – Zhanbolat Mamay, the leader of the ‘Ruk Pen Til’ youth movement, received a decision on the change of his status to the “accused”.

03.02.2012 – The International Journalist Rights Organisation ‘Reporters Without Borders’ expressed its concern about persecution of opposition media journalists in Kazakhstan.

03.02.2012 – The appeal filed by Vladimir Kozlov (the leader of the unregistered opposition party ‘Alga’) and an opposition politician Serik Sapargali was dismissed by the Appellate Court of the Almaty City Court. Vladimir Kozlov and Serik Sapargali’s criminal cases are conducted by investigators of the Department of National Security Committee for the Mangistau Province.

03.02.2012 – Bolat Atabaev (a renowned film director, an activist of the ‘Khalyk Maidany’ movement) received a decision about the change of his status from a ‘suspect’ to an ‘accused’. The decision was handed to him on the 3rd of February, 2012 in the Department of National Security Committee in Almaty. As a proof of commiting criminal acts, stipulated in Article 164, section 3 of the Criminal Code, he is charged with delivering a speech in Zhanaozen. Bolat A preventive measure was used in Atabaev’s case –  he had to sign a recognisance not to leave the town.

06.02.2012 –  On Monday, the 6th of February, the ‘Alga!’ office in Petropavlovsk was seized. The operation was preceded by a phone call made by an unknown person who asked after the owner of the premises. Later, a group of law enforcement officers came to the office, they entered the office by force and announced that the apartment is being seized. All those who were present were forced to sign a statement confirming that the responsibility for the safety of the property lies with them.

06.02.2012 – Alia Turusbekova i Lana Vinyavskaya, the wives of Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the unregistered party ‘Alga’ and Igor Vinyavskiy, the editor-in-chief of the ‘Vzlgyad’ newspaper (the men are now remaining in the detention centre of the NSC), handed to members of the Bundestag their husbands’ statements directed to the international community. These appeals were read out during the press conference entitled What will Kazakhstan be like after shooting at protesters and parliamentary elections?

06.02.2012 – In Kostanay, security forces workers dressed in civilian clothes raided the office, and, referring to the decision of Toyzhan Marat, the prosecutor of Zhanaozen, announced the seizure of the premises belonging to Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the ‘Alga!’ party who was apprehended on the 23th of January.

07.02.2012 – In Berlin, a meeting in solidarity with the victims of the Zhanaozen tragedy and political prisoners in Kazakhstan was held. The event took place at the building of the German Society for Foreign Relations. It was attended by activists of international labour unions, representatives of European civil society organizations and citizens of Kazakhstan, residing in Germany. The meeting was organised by the Open Dialog Foundation (Poland), the German left-wing labour unions and Andrej Hunko, a member of the Bundestag for the Left Party.

07.02.2012 – The Ukrainian journalistic movement ‘Stop Censorship!’ issued a statement in which it strongly condemned the oppression that the Kazakh authorities have subjected independent journalists to.

07.02.2012. The workers of the NSC raided the ‘Alga!’ party office in the town of Kyzylorda, presenting a warrant  for the seizure of the office. The NSC workers, namely: Daniyar Egeshbaev and Adil Saylybaev came to give explanations and to draw up the minutes from the seizure of the ‘Alga!’ party office. Four activists of the party were handed orders to report for questioning to the NSC.

07.02.2012 – The International Network of Expression Exchange Network IFEX sent an appeal to the General Prosecutor’s Office in Kazakhstan, in which it demanded that Igor Vinyavskiy, the editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper ‘Vzlgyad’ be released.

07.02.2012. Three NSC workers burst into the Kokshetau office of the ‘Alga!’ party and announced the seizure of the apartment.

07.02.2012-08.02.2012 – The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, paid an official visit to Germany.

08.02.2012 – During the press conference in Astana, the U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Fairfax stated that the United States continue to closely monitor the situation with the recent arrests of opposition leaders and journalists in Kazakhstan.

09.02.2012 – The Court of the Zharminskiy Region of East Kazakhstan Province ruled a decision to amnesty Ermek Narymbaev. He was arrested in Almaty on the 1st of  May 1, 2010, after a meeting of the opposition which called for a referendum demanding the early resignation of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. During the meeting, Ermek Narymbaev proclaimed the slogan “Nazarbayev – ket!” (the word which associates with the English word ‘cat’, which is assonant with the Russian word ‘net’ (which means ‘no’). According to some statements, by this slogan Narymbaev intended to convey the message ‘Say no to Nazarbayev’.

12.02.2012. – Amirzhan Kosanov, the General Secretary of the All-National Social-Democratic Party ‘Azat’ (ANSDP), and Amirbek Togusov, the head of the Almaty city branch of the party, were released from administrative detention to which they were put for conducting a rally on the 28th of January, 2012.

13.02.2012 – Women of Zhanaozen applied to the local administration authoritied for permission to conduct a protest action on the 25th of February, 2012. A video footage, which was published online, presented the situation, in which the police chief of Zhanaozen, Colonel Amangeldy Dosahanov, tells the women that if they give any interviews, no one will be released.

13.02.2012 – Alia Turusbekova, the wife of Vladimir Kozlov, the arrested leader of the unregistered opposition party ‘Alga’, demanded to respect her husband’s civil rights. In the statement, distributed at a press conference in Almaty, it is stated that the Vladimir Kozlov’s rights have been violated since the day of detention: food and things for him are not accepted, Turusbekov, his defense councel, is not allowed to see him, they block up visits, Vladimir Kozlov is deprived of the posibbility to fully communicate with his lawyer.

 02.2012-17.02.2012 – Near the detention centre of the NSC, where Igor Vinyavskiy and Vladimir Kozlov are remaining, a few pickets in support of the detainees were held.

15.02.2012 – Zhanbyr Ergazev, who had been kept in custody for nearly a month, was transferred to the Aktau hospital. According to his wife, Tamara Ergazeva, a social activist, he was injured when the police used weapons on the 16th of December, 2011.

16.02.2012 – Bulat Abilov, the co-chairman of the ANSDP, who was convicted for conducting a rally on the 28th of January, 2012, was released. He urged to continue the fight for the release of Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the unregistered party ‘Alga’, Igor Vinyavskiy, a journalist, Serik Sapargali and Ayzhangul Amirova, activists of the ‘Khalyk Maidany’, as well as to stand against the persecution of Zhanbolat Mamay, the leader of the ‘Rukh Pen Til’ youth movement.

17.02.2012 – N. Shayken, an investigator of the Department of the NSC of the city of Almaty allowed to pass some food products to Vladimir Kozlov, the arrested leader of the ‘Alga’ opposition party, but denied Kozlov’s wife the right to visit him.

17.02.2012 – Evgeniy Zhovtis, the Director of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, was released. On the 3rd of September, 2009, Zhovtis was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for committing a road traffic accident causing death. In 2010, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee awarded Zhovtis the Andrei Sakharov Freedom Prize.

17.02.2012 – The Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, addressed a letter to the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, in which it expressed its concerns with the actions of the NSC against independent journalists.

17.02.2012 – Evgeniy Zhovtis made ​​a statement in which expressed his support for the imprisoned  Natalia Sokolova, Aron Atabek, the arrested Vladimir Kozlov, Igor Vinyavskiy, Serik Sapargali, Ayzhangul Amirova, Roza Tuletaeva, as well as for other political activists, human rights activists and journalists, against whom criminal proceedings for political reasons have been initiated.

18.02.2012 – Estay Karashaev, an inhabitant of Zhanaozen, a participant of the strike of oil workers in Zhanaozen, was apprehended.

18.02.2012 – Natalia Sokolova refused to be nominated for the award of the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) or Global Unions in favour of more active members of civil society. She informed about this during her mobile phone conversation with Roza Akylbekova, the acting director of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law. Natalia Sokolova is remaining ina  women’s prison in the Atyrau Province. Natalia Sokoloba, the lawyer of the ‘Karazhanbasmunai’ labour union and one of the leaders of the strikers in Zhanaozen, was convicted in 2011 for 6 years’ incarceration for inciting social discord and conduct of unlawful assemblies.

20.02.2012-24.02.2012 – In Kazakhstan, a ‘rotation lift of solidarity with Igor Vinyavskiy and Vladimir Kozlov was held. Pickets were held at the main entrance to the NSC prison.

21.02.2012 – MEP Piotr Borys visited the town of Zhanaozen in Kazakhstan. During his visit, he met with representatives of the town administration authorities and local residents.

23.02.2012 – In Atyrau, employees of  a construction company, who participated in the renovation of the plant of the ‘Tengizshevroil’ US-Kazakh oil company in western Kazakhstan, declared a strike, demanding higher salaries. The workers who went on strike on the 26th of January, demand that their current salary, which amounts to 80.000 – 90.000 tenge ($ 530-600), be increased to 150,000 tenge ($ 995).
24.02.2012 – 28.02.2012 –  An international community group ‘Zhanaozen-2011’ went to the town of Zhanaozen to investigate the events of the 16th of December, 2011 in the Mangistau Province. The Group included Ramazan Esergepov, the director  of the press protection organisation ‘Journalists in Distress’, Erlan Kaliev, an activist of the ‘Alga’ party, Zhasaral Kuanyshalin, an opposition politician, Moldagali Matkan, a writer and Galym Ageleuov, a human rights defender.

25.02.2012 – In Almaty, a rally of those citizens who disagree with Nazarbaev’s policies was held. Before the start of the rally, Bolat Abilov and Zharmakhan Tuyakbay, the co-chairmen of the ANSDP ‘Azat’,  Amirzhan Kosanov, the general secretary of the party, and Ermurat Bapi, an opposition journalist, were detained. The protest actions were also held in Zhanaozen, Uralsk and Astana.

28.02.2012 – The Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law and the ‘Charter for Human Rights’ Social Foundation issued a statement against the arrests and convictions of the participants of the protest meeting which was held on the 25th of February, 2012.

28.02.2012 – The ‘Razvedka Dobycha ‘KazMunayGaz’ JSC held an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders, which had terminated the powers of Askar Balzhanov, the member of the Board.

29.02.2012 –  In Almaty, a press conference of the representatives of the ‘Zhanaozen-2011’  committee was organised. The aim of the conference was to present the results of the trip to Zhanaozen.