KAZAKHSTAN: 131 administrative prosecutions in 2020

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Kazakhstan’s authorities are known to have brought at least 131 administrative prosecutions in 2020 to punish 127 individuals, three charities and one company for their exercise of freedom of religion or belief. Of these, 116 ended with convictions, with 112 individuals, three charities, and one commercial company being punished. Almost all of the punishments included fines. However, the true number of such administrative cases is likely to be higher.

Administrative prosecutions have continued in 2021, with at least seven known fines in January (see below).

The 131 known administrative cases in 2020 are a reduction from 2019 in the number of prosecutions. This may be because of the coronavirus pandemic and the consequent halting of public events (including meetings for worship) for much of 2020. This gave the regime fewer opportunities in 2020 for raids and prosecutions of people for exercising their freedom of religion and belief.