Kazakhstan: Eight Muslim Prisoners of Conscience Sentenced

On 7 April, at the end of a closed trial, a court in the north-eastern city of Pavlodar sentenced Sunni Muslim Kuanysh Bashpayev to four and a half years’ imprisonment to punish him for talks he gave on his faith between 2008 and 2011. He had been arrested in October 2016 on his return to Kazakhstan from Saudi Arabia.

The 30-year-old Bashpayev – who is married with six children – denied inciting religious hatred and will appeal against his conviction, his lawyer told Forum 18. One of the two Prosecutor’s Office officials who led the case in court refused to say what harm Bashpayev might have done to anyone else.