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Executive Summary

The Republic of Kazakhstan’s government system and constitution concentrate power in the presidency. The presidential administration controls the government, the legislature, and judiciary as well as regional and local governments. Changes or amendments to the constitution require presidential consent. The April 2015 presidential election, in which President Nazarbayev received 97.5 percent of the vote, was marked by irregularities and lacked genuine political competition. The president’s Nur Otan Party won 82 percent of the vote in the March 2016 election for the Mazhilis (lower house of parliament). The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) observation mission noted some progress but judged the country continued to require considerable progress to meet its OSCE commitments for democratic elections. On June 26, Kazakhstan selected 16 of 47 senators, members of the parliament’s upper house, in an indirect election tightly controlled by local governors working in concurrence with the presidential administration.

Civilian authorities maintained effective control over the security forces.

The most significant human rights issues included arbitrary or unlawful killings; detainee and prisoner torture and other abuse; arbitrary arrest and detention; harsh and sometimes life-threatening prison conditions; infringements on citizens’ privacy rights; and pervasive corruption and abuses by law enforcement and judicial officials. There were selective restrictions on freedoms of expression, press, assembly, religion, and association, including restrictions on the activities of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). There were limits on citizens’ ability to choose their government in free and fair elections and prohibitive political party registration requirements. Additional problems included forced labor; and restrictive independent trade union registration requirements.

The government selectively prosecuted officials who committed abuses, especially in high-profile corruption cases; nevertheless, corruption remained widespread, and impunity existed for those in positions of authority as well as for those connected to government or law enforcement officials.

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:

a. Arbitrary Deprivation of Life and other Unlawful or Politically Motivated Killings

There were reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings or beatings that led to deaths.

On March 15, police detained a 29-year-old resident of Astana, Nikolay Krivenko, for disorderly behavior and vandalism. Police took him to a local center for medical and social rehabilitation where he was beaten to death. Police officer Berik Murzabekov was charged with abuse of power and intentional infliction of harm to health resulting in death by negligence. Three employees of the center, Sayat Satyn, Farkhat Kambetov, and Sumgat Temirgaliev, were charged with intentional infliction of harm to health resulting in death by negligence. On November 3, a district court in Astana sentenced Murzabekov to 10 years, and Satyn, Kambetov, and Temirgaliev to eight years of imprisonment.

There were no official reports of military hazing resulting in death; however, there were instances of several deaths that the official investigations subsequently presented as suicides. Family members made allegations that the soldiers died as a result of hazing.

On January 6, after two months in military service in an elite detachment of the army, 18-year-old Aset Zhusupov died as a result of a gun-shot injury to the head. Investigators were looking into the possibility of forced suicide. The case was under the principal military prosecutor’s special control.

Military hazing led to deaths, suicides, and serious injuries. On September 28, Private Urazgaliyev of Army Unit 32363 in Kapshagay died in the local hospital after a disagreement with the detachment commander, Sergeant Ramadin, who allegedly hit the conscript in the head. Urazgaliyev lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital, where he later died. Military prosecutors began an investigation of the incident, and Sergeant Ramadin was arrested. Due to the sensitivity of such cases, the Ministry of Defense rarely discloses additional information to the general public.

b. Disappearance

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The law prohibits torture; nevertheless, police and prison officials allegedly tortured and abused detainees. Human rights activists asserted the domestic legal definition of torture was noncompliant with the definition of torture in the UN Convention against Torture.

The National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) against Torture came into force in 2014 when the prime minister signed rules permitting the monitoring of institutions. Some observers commented that NPM staff lacked sufficient knowledge and training to recognize instances of torture. The NPM is part of the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman and thus is not independent of the government. The human rights ombudsman reported during the year receiving 106 complaints alleging torture, violence, and other cruel and degrading treatment and punishment in 2016. In its March report covering activities in 2016, the NPM reported that despite some progress, problems with human rights violations in temporary detention centers remained serious. Concerns included poor health and sanitary conditions at detention facilities, high risk of torture by investigators to extract confessions, and a lack of secure channels for submission of complaints. The Public Monitoring Commission (PMC) corroborated that report and elaborated that torture typically occurred during the initial period of detention. There were reports suspects often were beaten during transit or in police stations.

The NGO Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR) recorded 115 complaints of torture in the first six months of 2016. In a separate report, the prosecutor general indicated 89 cases of torture in the first six months of the year. Not all cases led to prosecution or conviction. The NGO Penal Reform International (PRI) indicated that in 2016, 75 percent of the officially registered 1,460 complaints of torture occurred during the investigation stage. Four of the 350 officially registered criminal investigations of torture went to court trial during the first 10 months of the year.

In October 2016 the Zhezkazgan city court ruled that civil society activist and blogger Natalya Ulasik, known for her critical antigovernment posts in social media, would be placed in a high-security mental hospital, asserting she was insane and represented a danger to society. KIBHR experts reported inconsistencies in her psychiatric check-ups and court procedures, while the hospital’s psychiatric commission examined Ulasik and concluded that she presented no danger to society and could be treated in an outpatient clinic. On June 2, the Talgar district court in Almaty region declined the hospital’s petition for release of Ulasik, who remained in a mental hospital.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison conditions were generally harsh and sometimes life threatening, and facilities did not meet international health standards. Health problems among prisoners went untreated in many cases, or prison conditions exacerbated them. Prisons still faced serious shortage of medical staff. The minister of internal affairs reported that tuberculosis incidence declined 37 percent compared with 2016.

Physical Conditions: According to PRI, although men and women were held separately and pretrial detainees were held separately from convicted prisoners, during transitions between temporary detention centers, pretrial detention, and prisons, youth often were held with adults.

Abuse occurred in police cells, pretrial detention facilities, and prisons. Observers cited the primary cause of mistreatment as the lack of professional training programs for administrators.

To address infrastructural problems in prisons, the authorities closed eight prisons with the worst conditions during the recent years. The NPM reported continuing infrastructure problems in prisons, such as unsatisfactory sanitary and hygiene conditions, including poor plumbing and sewerage systems and unsanitary bedding. It also reported shortages of medical staff and insufficient medicine, as well as problems of mobility for prisoners with disabilities. In many places the NPM noted restricted connectivity with the outside world and limited access to information about prisoners’ rights. PRI reported there was a widespread lack of heating and adequate ventilation in prisons, noting that in some cases extreme temperatures threatened the health of the inmates.

The minister of internal affairs claimed that the number of deaths in prisons declined 17 percent compared with 2016. The government did not publish statistics on the number of suicides or attempted suicides in pretrial detention centers or prisons during the year.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, 42 cases of disobedience by prisoners including group actions of disobedience were registered in the first six months.

Administration: The law does not allow unapproved religious services, rites, ceremonies, meetings, or missionary activity in prisons. By law a prisoner in need of “religious rituals” or his relatives may ask to invite a representative of a registered religious organization to carry out religious rites, ceremonies, or meetings, provided they do not obstruct prison activity or violate the rights and legal interests of other individuals. Radio Azattyk reported that Muslim prisoners were not allowed to fast during Ramadan and were punished for violations of the prison internal rules during bedtime.

Independent Monitoring: There were no independent international monitors of prisons. The local independent monitoring group PMC visited approximately 340,340 facilities during the first six months of 2016.

Improvements: The 2015 criminal code introduced alternative sentences, including fines and public service, but human rights activists noted they were not implemented effectively.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, but the practice occurred. The government did not provide statistics on the number of individuals unlawfully detained during the year. The prosecutor general reported that during the first six months of the year the number of individuals illegally detained and brought to police decreased by 54.3 percent compared with the same period in 2016. Prosecutors released 37 individuals who were unlawfully held in police cells and offices. According to the prosecutor general, bail was used extensively and 27.2 percent of all suspects in custody were released on bail.


The Ministry of Internal Affairs supervises the national police force, which has primary responsibility for internal security, including investigation and prevention of crimes and administrative offenses, and maintenance of public order and security. The Agency of Civil Service Affairs and Anticorruption has administrative and criminal investigative powers. The Committee for National Security (KNB) plays a role in border security, internal and national security, antiterrorism efforts, and the investigation and interdiction of illegal or unregistered groups, such as extremist groups, military groups, political parties, religious groups, and trade unions. On July 4, President Nazarbayev signed legislative amendments on a reform of the law enforcement agencies, including one giving power to the KNB to investigate corruption by officers of the secret services, anticorruption bureau, and military. The KNB, Syrbar (the foreign intelligence service), and the Agency of Civil Service Affairs and Anticorruption all report directly to the president. Many government ministries maintained blogs where citizens could register complaints.

Although the government took some steps to prosecute officials who committed abuses, impunity existed, especially where corruption was involved or personal relationships with government officials were established.


A person apprehended as a suspect in a crime is taken to a police office for interrogation. Prior to interrogation, the accused should have the opportunity to meet with an attorney. Upon arrest the investigator may do an immediate body search if there is a reason to believe the detainee has a gun or may try to discard or destroy evidence. Within three hours of arrest, the investigator is required to write a statement declaring the reason for the arrest, the place and time of the arrest, the results of the body search, and the time of writing the statement, which is then signed by the investigator and the detained suspect. The investigator should also submit a written report to the prosecutor’s office within 12 hours of the signature of the statement.

The arrest must be approved by the court. It is a three-step procedure: (1) the investigator collects all evidence to justify the arrest and takes all materials of the case to the prosecutor; (2) the prosecutor studies the evidence and takes it to court within 12 hours; and (3) the court proceeding is held with the participation of the criminal suspect, his/her lawyer, and the prosecutor. If within 72 hours of the arrest the administration of the detention facility has not received a court decision approving the arrest, the administration should immediately release him/her and notify the officer who handles the case and the prosecutor. The court may choose other forms of restraint: house arrest, restriction of movement, or a written requirement not to leave the city/place of residence.

According to human rights activists, these procedures were frequently ignored.

Authorized bail procedures exist but were not used in many cases. Instead, prolonged pretrial detentions were commonplace.

Detainees may be held in pretrial detention for up to two months. The term may be extended up to 18 months if the investigation continues. Upon the completion of the investigation, the investigator puts together an official indictment. The materials of the case are shared with the defendant and then sent to the prosecutor, who has five days to check the materials and forward them to the court.

Although the judiciary has the authority to deny or grant arrest warrants, judges authorized prosecutor warrant requests in the vast majority of cases. Prosecutors continued to have the power to authorize investigative actions, such as search and seizure.

Persons detained, arrested, or accused of committing a crime have the right to the assistance of a defense lawyer from the moment of detention, arrest, or accusation. The 2015 criminal procedure code obliges police to inform detainees about their rights, including the right to an attorney. Human rights observers alleged that prisoners were constrained in their ability to communicate with their attorneys, that penitentiary staff secretly recorded conversations, and that staff often remained present during the meetings between defendants and attorneys. In August Almaty attorney Johar Utebekov reported he found a wiretapping device in the conference room in the KNB pretrial investigation detention facility in Almaty where he met with his client, Muratkhan Tokmadi. The attorney filed an official complaint with the Prosecutor General’s Office but had not received a response.

The human rights ombudsman reported that law enforcement officials dissuaded detainees from seeing an attorney, gathered evidence through preliminary questioning before a detainee’s attorney arrived, and in some cases used defense attorneys to gather evidence. The law states that the government must provide an attorney for an indigent suspect or defendant when the suspect is a minor, has physical or mental disabilities, or faces serious criminal charges, but public defenders often lacked the necessary experience and training to assist defendants. Defendants are barred from freely choosing their defense counsel if the cases against them involve state secrets. The law allows only lawyers who have special clearance to work on such cases.

Arbitrary Arrest: Prosecutors reported five incidents of arbitrary arrest and detention in the first six months of the year.

The government frequently arrested and detained political opponents and critics, sometimes for minor infractions, such as unsanctioned assembly, that led to fines or up to 10 days’ administrative arrest. By law detainees may remain in pretrial detention for up to two months. Depending on the complexity and severity of the alleged offense, authorities may extend the term for up to 18 months while the investigation takes place. The pretrial detention term may not be longer than the potential sentence for the offense.

Pretrial Detention: The law allows police to hold a detainee for 72 hours before bringing charges. Human rights observers criticized this period as too lengthy and alleged that authorities often used this phase of detention to torture, beat, and abuse inmates to extract confessions.

The 2015 criminal code introduced the concept of conditional release on bail. The bail system is designed for persons who commit a criminal offense for the first time or for a crime of minor or moderate severity not associated with causing death or grievous bodily harm to the victim, provided that the penalties for committing such a crime contain a fine as an alternative penalty.

The law grants prisoners prompt access to family members, although authorities occasionally sent prisoners to facilities located far from their homes and relatives, thus preventing access for those unable to travel.

Detainee’s Ability to Challenge Lawfulness of Detention before a Court: The code of criminal procedure spells out a detainee’s right to submit a complaint, challenge the justification for detention, or to seek a pretrial probation as an alternative to arrest. Detainees have 15 days to submit complaints to the administration of the pretrial detention facility or to local court. An investigative judge has three to 10 days to overturn or uphold the challenged decision.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The law does not provide for an independent judiciary. The executive branch sharply limited judicial independence. Prosecutors enjoyed a quasi-judicial role and have the authority to suspend court decisions.

Corruption was evident at every stage of the judicial process. Although judges were among the most highly paid government employees, lawyers and human rights monitors alleged that judges, prosecutors, and other officials solicited bribes in exchange for favorable rulings in many criminal and civil cases.

Corruption in the judicial system was widespread. Bribes and irregular payments were regularly exchanged in order to obtain favorable court decisions. In many cases the courts were controlled by the interests of the ruling elite, according to Freedom House’s Nations in Transit report for 2017. Accordingly, public trust in the impartiality of the judicial system was low, and citizens held little expectation that justice would be dispensed professionally in court proceedings, as noted in the Nations in Transit report for 2016. Recruitment of judges was plagued by corruption, and becoming a judge often required bribing various officials, according to the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index report for the year.

Business entities were reluctant to approach courts because foreign businesses have a historically poor record when challenging government regulations and contractual disputes within the local judicial system. Judicial outcomes were perceived as subject to political influence and interference due to a lack of independence. A dedicated investment dispute panel was established in 2016, yet investor concerns over the panel’s independence and strong bias in favor of government officials remained. Companies expressed reluctance to seek foreign arbitration because anecdotal evidence suggested the government looks unfavorably on cases involving foreign judicial entities.

Moriak Shegenov, the chair of the Supreme Court judicial ethics panel, said at a July 24 extended conference meeting of the Supreme Court that two judges had been held liable for serious crimes: one for taking a bribe and another for knowingly issuing an illegal ruling. During the first six months of the year, 32 judges were punished for violations of judicial ethics: 12 judges were warned, 14 reprimanded, and six were dismissed.

Military courts have jurisdiction over civilian criminal defendants in cases allegedly connected to military personnel. Military courts use the same criminal code as civilian courts.


All defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence and are protected from self-incrimination under the law. Trials are public except in instances that could compromise state secrets or when necessary to protect the private life or personal family concerns of a citizen.

Jury trials are held by a panel of 10 jurors and one judge and have jurisdiction over crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment, as well as grave crimes such as trafficking and engagement of minors in criminal activity. Activists criticized juries for a bias towards the prosecution as a result of the pressure that judges applied on jurors, experts, and witnesses.

Observers noted the juror selection process was inconsistent. Judges exerted pressure on jurors and could easily dissolve a panel of jurors for perceived disobedience of their orders. The law has no mechanism for holding judges liable for such actions.

Indigent defendants in criminal cases have the right to counsel and a government-provided attorney. By law a defendant must be represented by an attorney when the defendant is a minor, has mental or physical disabilities, does not speak the language of the court, or faces 10 or more years of imprisonment. Defense attorneys, however, reportedly participated in only one half of criminal cases, in part because the government failed to pay them properly or on time. The law also provides defendants the rights to be present at their trials, to be heard in court, to confront witnesses against them, and to call witnesses for the defense. They have the right to appeal a decision to a higher court. According to observers, prosecutors dominated trials, and defense attorneys played a minor role.

Domestic and international human rights organizations reported numerous problems in the judicial system, including lack of access to court proceedings, lack of access to government-held evidence, frequent procedural violations, denial of defense counsel motions, and failure of judges to investigate allegations that authorities extracted confessions through torture or duress.

Lack of due process remained a problem, particularly in a handful of politically motivated trials involving opposition activists and in cases in which there were allegations of improper political or financial influence. In its Nations in Transit 2016 report, Freedom House noted that the courts were subservient to the executive branch and “convicted public figures brought to trial on politically motivated charges, often without credible evidence or proper procedures.”

Human rights and international observers noted investigative and prosecutorial practices that emphasized a confession of guilt over collection of other evidence in building a criminal case against a defendant. Courts generally ignored allegations by defendants that officials obtained confessions by torture or duress.


A group of civil society activists maintained a list of individuals they considered detained or imprisoned based on politically motivated charges, including land code activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan, labor union leader Larissa Kharkova, and Independent Tribunanewspaper’s chief editor, Zhanbolat Mamay.

Land code activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan were sentenced in November 2016 to five years in prison for organizing peaceful land reform protests. Despite the requirement of the law that prisoners should be referred to a penitentiary facility close to their homes, the two activists were sent to a northern prison 1,240 miles from their hometown, spending several weeks in transit in difficult conditions.

On April 7, Aktau labor movement activist Nurbek Kushakbayev was sentenced to two-and-one-half years in prison for calls to continue a labor strike after the court ruled the strike to be illegal. On May 5, labor movement activist Amin Yeleusinov was sentenced to two years in prison for alleged embezzlement of the labor union’s funds. Human rights activists and international organizations condemned the trials as politically motivated.

On July 25, a Shymkent district court found the leader of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, Larissa Kharkova, guilty of abuse of power, placing her on probation for four years with limitations on her freedom of movement, confiscating her property, and preventing her from leading any public and non-commercial organizations for five years. Initially, Kharkova was accused of embezzlement, but during the trial the charge was replaced with abuse of power.

On September 7, Independent Tribuna newspaper chief editor Zhanbolat Mamay was convicted of money laundering, sentenced to three years of probation, and banned from journalistic activity for three years. He was arrested on February 10 and charged with money laundering related to the fugitive ex-banker Mukhtar Ablyazov’s case.


Individuals and organizations may seek civil remedies for human rights violations through domestic courts. Economic and administrative court judges handle civil cases under a court structure that largely mirrors the criminal court structure. Although the law and constitution provide for judicial resolution of civil disputes, observers viewed civil courts as corrupt and unreliable.

f. Arbitrary or Unlawful Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The constitution and law prohibit violations of privacy, but the government at times infringed on these rights.

The law provides prosecutors with extensive authority to limit citizens’ constitutional rights. The KNB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and other agencies, with the concurrence of the Prosecutor General’s Office, may infringe on the secrecy of private communications and financial records, as well as on the inviolability of the home. Human rights activists reported incidents of alleged surveillance, including KNB officers’ visits to activists and their families’ homes for “unofficial” conversations about suspect activities, wiretapping and recording of phone conversations, and videos of private meetings posted on social media.

Courts may hear an appeal of a prosecutor’s decision but may not issue an immediate injunction to cease an infringement. The law allows wiretapping in medium, urgent, and grave cases.

Government opponents, human rights defenders, and their family members continued to report the government occasionally monitored their movements.

On July 27, the prime minister transferred the State Technical Service for centralized management of telecommunication networks, for the internet access single gateway, and for monitoring of information systems from the Ministry of Information and Communication to the KNB.

Section 3. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process

The constitution and law provide citizens the ability to choose their government in free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage, but the government severely limited exercise of this right.

Although the 2007 constitutional amendments increased legislative authority in some spheres, the constitution continues to concentrate power in the presidency. The president appoints and dismisses most high-level government officials, including the prime minister, cabinet, prosecutor general, KNB chief, Supreme Court and lower-level judges, and regional governors. The Mazhilis must confirm the president’s choice of prime minister, and the Senate must confirm the president’s choices of prosecutor general, KNB chief, Supreme Court judges, and National Bank head. Parliament has never failed to confirm a presidential nomination. Modifying or amending the constitution effectively requires the president’s consent. Constitutional amendments exempt President Nazarbayev from the two-term presidential term limit and protect him from prosecution.

Two laws, termed “Leader-of-the-Nation laws,” establish President Nazarbayev as chair of the Kazakhstan People’s Assembly, grant him lifetime membership on the Constitutional and Security Councils, allow him “to address the people of Kazakhstan at any time,” and stipulate that all “initiatives on the country’s development” must be coordinated through him.

Elections and Political Participation

Recent Elections: An early presidential election in April 2015 gave President Nazarbayev 97.5 percent of the vote. According to the New York Times, his two opponents, who supported the Nazarbayev government, were seen as playing a perfunctory role as opposition candidates. The OSCE stated that the election process generally was managed effectively, although the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission stated voters were not given a choice of political alternatives and noted that both “opposition” candidates had openly praised Nazarbayev’s achievements and that some voters reportedly had been pressured to vote for the incumbent.

On June 28, of the 47 members of the Senate, 16 were selected by members of maslikhats–local representative bodies–acting as electors to represent each oblast–administrative region–and the cities of Astana and Almaty. Four incumbent senators were re-elected, and the majority of the newly elected senators were affiliated with the ruling Nur Otan Party.

As a result of early Mazhilis elections on March 20, 2016, the ruling Nur Otan Party won 84 seats, Ak Zhol won seven seats, and the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan won seven seats. ODIHR reported widespread ballot stuffing and inflated vote totals. ODIHR criticized the election for falling short of the country’s democratic commitments. The legal framework imposed substantial restrictions on fundamental civil and political rights. On election day serious procedural errors and irregularities were noted during voting, counting, and tabulation.

Political Parties and Political Participation: Political parties must register members’ personal information, including date and place of birth, address, and place of employment. This requirement discouraged many citizens from joining political parties.

There were seven political parties registered, including Ak Zhol, Birlik, and the People’s Patriotic Party “Auyl” (merged from the Party of Patriots of Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstan Social Democratic Party). One party remained registered although it was defunct, leaving six functioning parties. The parties generally did not oppose President Nazarbayev’s policies.

To register, a political party must hold a founding congress with a minimum attendance of 1,000 delegates, including representatives from two-thirds of the oblasts and the cities of Astana and Almaty. Parties must obtain at least 600 signatures from each oblast and the cities of Astana and Almaty, registration from the Central Election Commission (CEC), and registration from each oblast-level election commission.

Participation of Women and Minorities: Traditional attitudes sometimes hindered women from holding high office or playing active roles in political life, although there were no legal restrictions on the participation of women or minorities in politics.

Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials. The government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.

Corruption: Corruption was widespread in the executive branch, law enforcement agencies, local government administrations, the education system, and the judiciary, according to opposition leaders and human rights NGOs. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Agency on Civil Service Affairs and Combatting Corruption, the KNB, and the Disciplinary State Service Commission are responsible for combating corruption. On July 4, the president signed a law empowering the KNB to investigate corruption crimes committed by officers of the special agencies, anticorruption bureau, and military. According to official statistics, 2,132 corruption-related offenses were registered during the first seven months of the year, and 1,019 cases were submitted to courts.

On January 9, the chairman of the State Single Pension Fund, Ruslan Yerdenayev, was arrested for alleged embezzlement of property. The KNB began investigation based on a complaint from the National Bank regarding illegal transactions on purchase of corporate bonds. The court trial began on November 15 and continued at year’s end.

On June 13, two deputies in the presidential administration, Baglan Mailybayev and Nikolay Galikhin, were convicted of divulging and disseminating state secrets. Mailybayev was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, confiscation of property, and a lifetime ban on holding government office. Galikhin was sentenced to four years’ probation with a three-year ban on any government service.

The new criminal code toughened criminal liability and punishment for crimes related to corruption. It does not allow probation for corruption crimes. There is also an additional penalty of a lifetime ban on employment in the civil service, as well as mandatory forfeiture of titles, ranks, grades, and state awards. The statute of limitation does not apply to persons charged with corruption.

Financial Disclosure: The law requires government officials, applicants for government positions, and those recently released from government service to declare their income and assets in the country and abroad to tax authorities annually. The same requirement applies to their spouses, dependents, and adult children. Similar regulations exist for members of parliament and judges. Tax declarations are not available to the public. The law imposes administrative penalties for noncompliance with the requirements.

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