Sergey Molchanov, born 10 December 1968 in the city of Semipalatinsk of East Kazakhstan Oblast, human rights activist, a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan, ethnic Russian, has a higher education, head of Public Foundation “Doktor S.N.”, assistant professor at the department of personalized medicine and paediatrics of the Pavlodar branch of Semey Medical University National Joint-Stock Company, resides in the city of Pavlodar, Pavlodar Province, a member of the Coordinating Council of the National Preventive Mechanism.
While exercising his right to freedom of speech and expression by making posts on Facebook Sergey Molchanov “simply wished that people would pay attention to the rules and procedures in which grants were awarded” to non-government organizations from the state budget via the Centre for the Support of Civil Initiatives.
On 6 January 2020, a private complaint against Mr. Molchanov was filed under article 130 part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Libel) for defamation and dissemination of false information discrediting the honour and dignity and undermining the business reputation of Ms. B.K. Mukina, a chair of the Management Board at the Centre for the Support of Civil Initiatives non-profit joint-stock company. Ms. Mukina demanded that Mr. Molchanov be held criminally accountable for the libel and be obligated to delete his posts on Facebook, as well as publish a refutation.
A court hearing of the private complaint was held on 6 January 2020 at Pavlodar city court no.2 in the city of Pavlodar (judge Ms. Zh.A. Tlegenova). The hearing was held via a videoconference with the Esil Court no.2 for the city of Nur-Sultan.
Mr. Molchanov fully denied all charges of libel and dissemination of false information that allegedly discredited Ms. Mukina’s honour and dignity and undermined her business reputation.
The prosecution motioned a philological and linguistic examination of selected posts made by Mr. Molchanov, as well as of his appeals addressed to Ms. Dariga Nazarbayeva, Chair of the Senate of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. A.Zh. Shpekbayev, Chairman of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Public Service and Fight Against Corruption, as well as Prime Minister A.U. Mamin. The judge dismissed all those motions.
Another two court sessions pertaining to this case were held on 17 January 2020 and 28 January 2020. During the last session, Ms. Mukina filed a motion asking return of her private complaint on the ground that she had decided to call off her suit against Mr. Molchanov under article 130 part 2 of the Criminal Code.
The motion was granted, signifying termination of the private complaint proceedings.
Ms. N.E. Yanchuk, an advocate with the Pavlodar Oblast Collegium, provided legal assistance to Mr. Molchanov with the support from the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.
Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law
12 June 2020