Summary of the latest information and statistics on investigation into January’s unrest in Kazakhstan

Received from Kazakhstan Ambassador H.E Yerzhan Ashikbayev

Yeldos Kilymzhanov, Deputy Head of the First Service of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Kazakhstan, and Sanjar Adilov, Head of the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, giving an update on the investigation into the tragic events in early January in Kazakhstan.

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On 16 February 2022, Yeldos Kilymzhanov, Deputy Head of the 1 st Service of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan, and Sanjar Adilov, head of the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, gave a briefing at the Central Communications Service, during which they provided further updates on the investigation into January’s tragic events in the country.

This document provides a summary of this information. The data presented below is subject to change as the investigation into the tragic January events continues.

Latest information and statistics on the investigation into the tragic events in January

Kilymzhanov informed that the Prosecutor General’'s Office is continuing to investigate the crimes committed during the January events and is working to protect the constitutional rights of citizens.

On the January unrest

  • Mr Adilov stated that the assaults utilised “hybrid attack” methods. A well-thought-out plan included the organization of a peaceful rally, and under its cover, the entry of combat groups into the city and the activation of “sleeping cells”. It was an attempt at an armed seizure of power in the country, which is confirmed by simultaneous attacks and seizures of the Akimat (Mayor’s Office) and police buildings in many cities.
  • Certain individuals deliberately acted to sow panic and fear among the population and paralyze the activities of state bodies. To do this, they attacked the buildings of the Akimat, as a symbol of state power, blocked and stormed law enforcement buildings. Therefore, according to Aarticle 255 of the Criminal Code, such acts are qualified as acts of terrorism.
  • As for the attacks on law enforcement buildings, the main goal was to seize military weapons.

On cases and number of detainees

  • Mr Adilov informed that to date, a total of 3,096 pre-trial investigations have been registered. Most of the crimes are related to damage to property, hooliganism and theft of weapons.
  • An interdepartmental investigation team led by special prosecutors is investigating 181 cases of riots and acts of terrorism.
  • A total of 741 suspects are being held in custody in relation to criminal cases that are being investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Security Committee, and the Anti-Corruption service.
  • 113 of the suspects have a previous conviction, including for murder, rape, and robbery. 42 are members of banned extremist movements and 35 are members of organized criminal groups.
  • Detention of 157 persons was replaced with a written undertaking not to leave their location of residence, bail, house arrest and a personal guarantee.
  • The prosecutors have released 103 people from temporary detention centres due to lack of evidence of their involvement in the riots.
  • Since the beginning of the week, 36 persons have been released from custody.
  • 2,565 criminal cases are being processed by investigators of the internal affairs bodies, 271 people are in custody by those bodies.

On ensuring the rights of the detainees

  • The prosecutors, in close cooperation with human rights organizations, are checking the conditions of the detainees on a daily basis. In addition, work is underway to mitigate the previously applied punishments.
  • The prosecutor’s office has received 363 complaints about the alleged illegal actions of law enforcement agencies. The Anti-Corruption Service is processing 178 criminal cases on unlawful methods of investigation. The special prosecutors are handling 8
  • Among them are incidents related to detainees at the Dynamo stadium in Atyrau, statements by Batyrbaev, a minor Esbolatula and other persons who alleged the use of violence in the police building of the Almaty region, as well as in other instances that caused public outcry. Every criminal case is being reviewed, the officials said.
  • 59 complaints on abuse of power by law enforcement officers have been assessed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Criminal cases have been opened in this regard, which have been transferred to the Anti-Corruption Service. Thorough internal checks have been carried out on 18 complaints, including interviews with citizens and, the study of video recordings. Abuse of power was not confirmed in these cases.
  • Representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism and public monitoring commissions are visiting and inspecting the detention institutions.
  • The state prosecutor’s office, together with law enforcement agencies, are taking all measures to establish the circumstances of incidents, as well as ensure the principle of the inevitability of punishment, with strict observance of the rule of law and the constitutional rights of citizens.
  • Persons entering pre-trial detention centres undergo a mandatory medical examination. If injuries are detected, they are provided with immediate medical assistance. All investigative activities are conducted in specially equipped rooms with CCTV cameras.

On seized weapons

  • In the Almaty region, 53 machine guns, 367 pistols, 1 grenade launcher, as well as over 23,000 cartridges were stolen from the building of the Police Department.
  • In the Zhambyl region – 209 machine guns, 134 pistols, 11 grenade launchers, 1machine gun and almost 40,000 rounds of ammunition.
  • In the Almaty Residence, there is a shortage of 130 weapons and ammunition, including 80 grenades, 17 pistols, 11 machine guns, 21 grenade launchers and a sniper rifle.
  • Ten hunting stores were also looted, and 1,629 guns were stolen.
  • In total, more than 3,000 weapons were stolen. A third, or 967 units, have now been recovered, while more than 2,000, including grenades, machine guns, rifles, pistols, and grenade launchers, are still being searched for.
  • A total of 68 weapons have been handed over to authorities voluntarily.

On returned goods and property

  • Stolen property of citizens and business entities, amounting to around 110 million tenge ($256,950 USD), have been returned. Among them are 10 cars, 301 household appliances, 188 pieces of jewellery, 250 mobile phones, 16 million tenge ($37,374 USD) in cash, and 472 pieces of clothing.

On cases of misinformation

  • Cases of spreading deliberately false information through social networks have become more frequent. Most of the fake messages have come from outside the country. More than 50 social media accounts registered abroad have been established to date responsible for the false information.
  • 13 criminal cases are being investigated under Article 274 of the Criminal Code dealing with the dissemination of deliberately false information.

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