Mr. Serik Ramazanovich Idyryshev, born 15 August 1967, civil activist, native of Zaysan district of East Kazakhstan Oblast, citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan, ethnic Kazakh, has secondary special education, works as a gas and electric welder at Bobrovka+ LLP, resides in village of Bobrovka, East Kazakhstan oblast, civil activist working in East Kazakhstan Oblast.
Mr. Idyryshev, exercising his right to freedom of speech, has been publicly expressing his critical opinion regarding the socio-political situation in the country, an activity for which he was labelled “extremist” since his opinions aligned with those of the opposition movement “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan.” The latter was banned on 13 March 2018 after being labelled extremist by a judgment of the Esil District Court in the city of Astana, even though independent observers and human rights activists viewed it as a politically motivated move since the movement has never called for or indeed exercised violence. Mr. Idyryshev has defended the citizens’ right to peaceful assembly, and was a member of an unregistered WhatsApp opposition group “Koshe Partiyasy.” On 19 May 2020 this party was also labelled extremist and banned by a judgment of the Esil District Court in the city of Astana, even though independent observers and human rights activists again viewed it as politically motivated, since the party never called for or exercised violence.
Mr. Idyryshev was charged with participation in a public association in respect of which there is an issued court ruling that has entered into legal force which prohibited its activity due to its involvement in extremism (article 405 part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan). The association in question is the banned movement “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan.” On 12 May 2019 Mr. Idyryshev was sentenced by the Glubokovsky District Court for East Kazakhstan Oblast to one year of restriction of freedom with a three-year ban on social and political activity, including through the use of the media and telecommunication networks.
23.12.2019 г. On 23 December 2019 Mr. Idyryshev appealed the sentence. His appeal was dismissed. On 7 February 2020 Mr. Idyryshev was placed under probationary control by the East Kazakhstan Oblast Department of Penitentiaries (DUIS VKO).
The penitentiary officers held it that Mr. Idyryshev had violated the ban on social and political activity, including through the use of the media and telecommunication networks, by doing the following (which they had recorded):
- on 25 February 2020 he updated a photo on Facebook;
- on 8 March 2020 he used his account “Serik Idyryshev” to do a live stream sharing information on the COVID-19 epidemic in Kazakhstan;
- on 4 April 2020, in the comments section under a video challenge posted by civil society activist Mr. Akymov, Mr. Idyryshev used his account “Sake Reke Tore” to leave a comment “Assalaumagaleikum zherlesym! Alla Tahala zhar bolsyn! Alha Kazakhstan! Alha Koshe Partiyasy!” (“I salute you my compatriot! Let the Force be with us! Forward, Kazakhstan! Forward, Koshe Party!”);
- on 16 April 2020 he accessed his social network account “Sake Reke Tore” to make a repost of a message published by civil society activist Dana Zhanay named “Give the children their phones back! They have lessons to do,” on the topic of a mobile phone that had been taken away from civil society activist Mr. Nurkanov by a court order.
As a result, on 22 April 2020 Mr. Idyryshev was issued a written notice of his sentence of restriction of freedom being elevated to imprisonment. On 28 April 2020 the probation authorities filed a motion to replace the remainder of Mr. Idyryshev’s sentence with imprisonment.
On 5 May 2020, the Glubokovsky District Court for East Kazakhstan Oblast, with judge I.D. Rakhmetova as chair and D.M. Mukazhanov, assistant prosecutor, and A.S. Suleimanov, attorney for the convicted, in attendance, ruled to replace the remainder of Mr. Idyryshev’s restriction of freedom with an imprisonment for a period of nine months and two days, to be served at a medium-security facility.
Since the aforesaid judgment was issued, Mr. Idyryshev has been placed at DUIS VKO’s facility number OV-156/1. On 21 May 2020 Mr. Idyryshev appealed the district court’s imprisonment verdict and is now awaiting a review at the East Kazakhstan Oblast Court, which is scheduled for 10 June 2020.
Legal assistance to Mr. Idyryshev has been provided by Mr. T.A. Seisekenov, an advocate at the regional collegium, with support from the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.