Earlier this month, popular politician, journalist, and leader of the ‘unregistered’ opposition Democratic Party in Kazakhstan, Zhanbolat Mamay, who had been held in detention since February 2022, was released under house arrest. He had been detained by the Kazakh authorities after being accused of having involvement in orchestrating the January 2022 liquified gas protests.
Supporters of Mr Mamay claim his arrest, detention, and prosecution were an attempt by the Kazakh government to suppress opposition voices in Kazakhstan. International human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called for Mr Mamay’s immediate release, and for charges against him to be dropped.
Following his release, Mr Mamay’s trial began on Monday 7 November. The court has heard witness statements from multiple sources so far incuding Mr Mamay himself, and the Deputy Chief of the Ministry of Internal affairs for the Medeu district, Aybek Bolytbayev.
Significantly, the case is gathering European support. The High Representative for Foreign affairs of the European Union, Josep Borrell, has travelled to Astana, and has already met with representatives of the Kazakhstan Civil Society, including the Deputy Head of the International Human Rights Bureau of Kazakhstan, Roza Akylbekova. He is also due to meet with the President of Kazakhstan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The trial is ongoing, with the next hearing listed for Thursday 24 November. We will continue to update this page as the trial progresses.
To find out more about Mr Mamay’s case and the Inquiry Commission that has been established to investigate his treatment by the Kazakh authorities, click here.