Zhovtis on the suspension of operation of human rights NGOs in Kazakhstan: Belarus and Navalny could have made impact

Date: 15:30, 26-01-2021.

Almaty. January 26. KazTAG -  Yevgeny Zhovtis, director of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law has associated the suspension of the activities of a number of human rights organizations in Kazakhstan with political events.
“Today, not only the operation of the Bureau has been suspended. Today, the activities of the International Legal Initiative of Amangeldy and Aina Shormanbayevs were suspended, the activities of "Echo" of Pavel Lobachev were suspended. So, we are not the first. This is a campaign. There is no doubt about it, we are dealing with some kind of political reversal, it is pure politics and has nothing to do with the violation of tax laws that could be taken seriously. This is some kind of political turn," he said.
In his opinion, a number of reasons influenced the decision to suspend the activities of the organization.
"Recently we held a press conference, we read out our statement. There were seven organizations, we set out everything quite clearly, and then it all went in a rather sluggish mode, because we wrote some explanations, petitions, and the consideration of the cases  was postponed all the time. And as I understand it, it was directly related to the elections. Before the elections, they did not want to do this and tried to convince our Western colleagues that they were not going to suspend or fine anyone here. The elections passed, I think there was irritation that the elections were not recognized as politically competitive elections, in addition, the events in Belarus, the events related to Navalny - I think that all this together led to a decision on fines and suspension of activities, "he said.
The human rights activist noted it has been the toughest pressure the Bureau has faced since 1993.

Photo source: picture from an open source

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