Kyrgyzstan: Rights Activist Freed to Seek Asylum

Askhat Zheksebaev, a 47-year-old opposition activist from Kazakhstan, was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for peaceful social media posts and private messages in support of an opposition party. His sentence was later commuted to a suspended sentence but he was banned from public activism, had his assets frozen, and was subject to severe restrictions on movement. He subsequently fled to Kyrgyzstan, where he was arrested and detained.

After, TrialWatch published a Fairness Report on Zheksebaev’s trial , giving it a D, and sent a communication to the Kyrgyz government about the potential consequences he might face on returning to Kazakhstan, a Kyrgyz court released him so that he could seek asylum.

Before Zheksebaev fled the Kazakh authorities had a stranglehold on all aspects of his life, severely restricting his travel, his access to bank accounts, and his posts on social media.

Stephanie Farrior TrialWatch Expert