Tag Archives: Kazakh

Two Kazakhs risk extradition to China

Kazakhstan should not forcibly return two Chinese citizens fleeing Xinjiang or prosecute them for illegal border crossing while their asylum claims are pending, according to Human Rights Watch.

On January 6, 2020, court hearings against the two ethnic Kazakhs, Kaster Musakhanuly and Murager Alimuly, on charges of illegal border crossing began in the eastern town of Zaysan. The hearing was adjourned after only two hours, although dozens of witnesses and supporters had traveled there to testify on their behalf, and the case was postponed to January 21.

If returned to China, the men would almost certainly face detention and a real risk of torture.

“The government should immediately drop charges of illegal border crossing, halt these proceedings, and guarantee that these men will not be sent back to China as long as their refugee claims are pending,” said Laura Mills, Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Kazakhstan can take this opportunity to demonstrate that, unlike in the past, it is a country that upholds its international legal obligations, respects refugee rights, and won’t return people to risk of torture.”

Kazakhstan President resigns

Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev (78) will step down.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in office since 1990.

President Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan since the fall of the Soviet Union, announced on March 19 that he would resign his office.

“I have taken the decision to refuse the mandate of the presidency,” he said in a televised address.

A few weeks ago he dismissed the government as it struggles with low oil prices and domestic discontent. Sanctions against Russia, the country’s major trading partner, have also damaged the economy and fomented wide-spread discontent with the government blamed incapacity to ensure adequate living standards.

The President said that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the speaker of the upper house of parliament and a Nazarbayev’s loyalist, will take over as the country’s acting leader until the end of his term, as regulated by the Kazakh Constitution. This term ends in March 2020.