(Berlin, July 7, 2021) – Authorities in Kazakhstan have targeted at least 135 people across the country with criminal investigations and prosecutions for alleged participation in banned “extremist” political opposition groups, Human Rights Watch said today.
Over the last three years, the authorities have increased their misuse of vague and overbroad criminal charges relating to the crime of “extremism” to harass and prosecute government critics. The crackdown violates the rights to freedom of expression and association.
“Liking” and sharing posts on Facebook can get you arrested in Kazakhstan.
Kazakh authorities have banned peaceful opposition groups, claiming they’re “extremist.”
They’ve arrested hundreds of people for attending peaceful protests
and opened criminal investigations against more than 130 people for posting or sharing the groups’ messages on social media.
It’s time for Kazakh authorities to stop muzzling critics.