Joint statement on the case of Karachaganak Support Services ("KSS")

On 26 July 2021, the Atyrau Court of Appeal reversed the decision of court of the first instance and imposed a politically motivated sentence of 5.5 years in prison for Baurzhan Jussupov (a KSS employee), 7 years in prison for Natalia Dauletyarova and 5 years in prison for Rinat Batkayev (partners of KSS) under Article 262 ("organised criminal group").
 
The court has issued a stricter decision than the court of the first instance, which we consider to be retaliation for the public disclosure of torture against Natalia Dauletyarova and demands for false testimony from others who have been prosecuted.
 
In the course of investigation, employees of the Department of Economic Investigation put pressure on Natalia Dauletyarova and offered her to give false testimony against Barlyk Mendygaziyev so that she would testify that in reality no transactions between "KSS" and her companies under the contracts concluded on behalf of Barlyk Mendygaziyev’s "KSS" allegedly existed. That all transactions were allegedly fictitious and aimed at laundering funds.

At the same time, on 17 May 2021 by decision of the court of the first instance:
 
- Baurzhan Jussupov was sentenced to 5 years' probation and 1-year ban on holding senior positions for alleged tax evasion (Article 245 Part 3), although he was acquitted under Article 262 Part 2 ("participation in an organised criminal group") for the absence of corpus delicti.

- Natalia Dauletyarova was sentenced to 5 years of suspended sentence for issuing invoices without actually performing the work (Article 216 Part 3), aiding Baurzhan Jussupov in tax evasion (Article 28 Part 5 - Article 245 Part 3) and defamation (Article 419 Part 3), and acquitted under Article 262 Part 1 ("organisation of an organised criminal group") for the absence of corpus delicti.

- Rinat Batkayev, who worked with Natalia Dauletyarova, was sentenced to 3.5 years' probation for issuing invoices without actually performing the work (Article 216 Part 3).
 
The Kazakhstani authorities have prosecuted KSS employees, relatives of Barlyk Mendygaziyev and Barlyk Mendygaziyev himself for his peaceful human rights and opposition activities, helping to pay politically motivated fines, services of lawyers in political cases and providing humanitarian assistance to families of political prisoners and politically persecuted activists.

On 5 June, authorities illegally sent his brother, Bekizhan Mendygaziyev, to a pre-trial detention facility; KSS employees and relatives of Barlyk Mendygaziyev are being persecuted in order to pressure Barlyk to stop his peaceful opposition and human rights activities.
 
In December 2020, Barlyk Mendygaziyev met with Bergey Ryskaliyev, former Akim of Atyrau region. Bergey Ryskaliyev passed on threats to Barlyk Mendygaziyev from NSC head Karim Massimov, demanding that he stop engaging in human rights and patronage activities.

We believe that after the politically motivated verdict against Barlyk's colleagues, Kazakhstani authorities will seek his extradition from the United States, where he founded the human rights foundation Freedom Kazakhstan.

On 11 February 2021, the European Parliament in its resolution on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan called on the Kazakhstani authorities to stop the political persecution of family members and colleagues of Barlyk Mendygaziyev and urged member states and EU authorities to consider imposition of targeted sanctions on human rights violators in Kazakhstan.

We demand to stop the political persecution of KSS employees, relatives of Barlyk Mendygaziyev, and to release Bekizhan Mendygaziyev immediately.

We demand that the politically motivated conviction of Baurzhan Jussupov, Natalia Dauletyarova and Rinat Batkayev be reversed.
 
We demand that Ombudsperson for Human Rights of the Republic of Kazakhstan Elvira Azimova publicly demand to stop the political persecution of Barlyk Mendygaziyev’s colleagues and relatives and personally visit Barlyk Mendygaziyev’s brother, Bekizhan Mendygaziyev, in the detention facility.

We call on the US, the the UK and Canada to publicly condemn the politically motivated persecution of Barlyk Mendygaziyev’s colleagues and relatives, and to impose personal sanctions on: Karim Massimov, Head of the National Security Committee; Gizat Nurdauletov, General Presecutor; and Yerlan Turgumbayev, Minister of Internal Affairs for systematic human rights violations in Kazakhstan.

Human Rights Foundation “Qaharman”
Human Rights Movement “405”
Human Rights Foundation "Freedom Kazakhstan"
Human Rights Movement "BostandyQ Kz”
Human Rights Movement “Article 14"
Human Rights Movement “Elimay"
Human Rights Movement “Veritas"