Mr. Ruslan Kalibekovich Nurkanov, born 15 September 1980, civil society activist, has secondary education, resides in the village of Aiyrtau, Ulan District, East Kazakhstan Oblast.
On 21 February 2020, Mr. Nurkanov made the following post under his account “Bura Nayman”: “I support the program of Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan and Mukhtar Kabulovich Ablyazov.” The Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK) movement was banned on 13 March 2018, being labelled as extremist by a ruling of the Esil District Court in the city of Astana, even though independent observers and human rights activists view it as politically motivated, because the movement has never called for nor exercised any violence.
Following his Mr. Nurkanov’s post, a pre-trial investigation was launched on the grounds of his alleged participation in a public association in respect of which there is a court judgment that has entered into legal force which bans such an association due to its extremist nature (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 11 March 2020, a forensic psychological and philological examination with the involvement of a political scientist was ordered. The examination was completed on 9 April 2020, and its findings read as follows: “the general nature of the post made by a Facebook user “Bura Nyman,” if assessed based on the information contained therein, and the form in which it was presented, could be determined as an expression of support for the program of DCK and that of Mukhtar Kabylovich Ablyazov. Based on the content of the post, it can be concluded that the author seems to be a member of this organization, but one cannot definitely said that he plays a role in DCK’s financing. The post draws a picture of its author as an ardent supporter of this organization (DCK), and by publishing it on a social network the author has engaged in propaganda and agitation for the ideas of DCK, an extremist organization, and those of its leader, M.K. Ablyazov. The text has the features that prove that its author belong to, and is supporting, the ideology of “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan,” an extremist organization, and its leader, M. Ablyazov.”
On 3 June 2020 the Ust-Kamenogorsk prosecutor's office handed Mr. Nurkanov an indictment, and the case is slated to be sent to court.
Legal assistance to Mr. Nurkanov has been provided by Mr. T.A. Seisekenov, an advocate with the East Kazakhstan Oblast collegium, with the support of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.