On 25 February, opposition activist Dulat Agadil died in a pre-trial detention center in Nur-Sultan. Before that, he had been forcefully taken from his home by plain-clothed people; Mr. Agadil was being tried in a case of contempt of a court of law and, as alleged by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan (MIA RoK), had been evading investigation. A few days later, without waiting for the criminal investigation into Mr. Agadil’s sudden death to complete, the MIA RoK, the prosecutor’s office, and the President of Kazakhstan all announced that the cause of death was a “cardiovascular failure.”
Prior to the funeral, Mr. Agadil's friends made a video that showed scratches and bruises on his body. The General Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal case under Article 274 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (CC RoK) (dissemination of false information) against M. Arystanov, K. Seitkaliev and D. Umirbaev, for distributing in the social networks a video showing the alleged bodily injuries on Mr. Agadil’s body.
On 27 February, Medet Arystanov was placed under a 10-day arrest and, according to the media reports, he was subjected to a criminal investigation for making the video of Mr. Dulat Agadil’s body, albeit with the consent of the relatives of the deceased.
On 14 March, the General Prosecutor’s Office in Nur-Sultan called in the witnesses in this criminal case. Mr. Arystanov was questioned as a “witness with a right to defense.”
On 17 March, Mr. Arystanov was called in to the General Prosecutor’s Office as a witness to take part in the investigative actions in a criminal case under article 405 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Participation in a public or religious association or other organization in respect of which there is a legally effective court judgment prohibiting the activity of such association or organization or liquidating it on the grounds of being engaged in extremism or terrorism, allegedly in connection with the persecution of Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, a movement that has been recognized by court as extremist.
Medet Arystanov never contacted the Nur-Sultan branch office of KIBHR for legal assistance. However, requests have been made to KIBHR head office in Almaty to assist with engagement of an advocate.
Mr. Arystanov’s most recent interrogation was conducted in May 2020. As of 19 June 2020, Medet Arystanov’s status in this case is one of a witness with a right to defense.
Ms. Duysenova, Gulshat Amantayevna is acting as Mr. Arystanov advocate and defending his rights and law-protected interests.
Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law
15 June 2020