Kazakhstan: Government Critics Are Being Persecuted
July 8, 2021
(Berlin, Germany) – Human Rights Watch said today that authorities in Kazakhstan have targeted at least 135 people across the country with criminal investigations and prosecutions for alleged membership in banned “extremist” political opposition groups.
Over the last three years, authorities have increased their use of ambiguous and overbroad criminal charges relating to the crime of “extremism” to harass and prosecute government critics. The crackdown infringes on the rights to free expression and association.
The bans were based on psychological-linguistic analyses of social media content commissioned by the government. There was no other evidence cited in the court rulings that either group advocated or engaged in violence.
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