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Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office Plans to Change Charge to Murder in Killing of Kazakh Critic

The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office announced on July 2 that it intends to alter the charge against two Kazakh men from attempted murder to murder in connection with the death of journalist Aidos Sadyqov. Sadyqov, a vocal critic of the Kazakh government, passed away in a Kyiv hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds on June 18.

Sadyqov’s wife, Natalya Sadyqova, revealed on Facebook that her husband had been in intensive care since the shooting but ultimately succumbed to complications. The journalist had relocated to Kyiv in 2014 with his family after facing a government investigation in Kazakhstan.

The attackers, identified as Meiram Qarataev and Altai Zhaqanbaev, are said to have entered Ukraine from Poland and then fled to Moldova after the incident. While Zhaqanbaev turned himself in to Kazakh authorities, Qarataev’s whereabouts are still being determined.

Ukrainian prosecutors have requested the extradition of both men from Kazakhstan and have involved Interpol in their pursuit. However, Kazakhstan has stated that its citizens cannot be extradited to other countries according to its laws. The country has faced criticism for cracking down on independent media and government dissent.

In a separate incident, independent Kazakh political analyst Dimash Alzhanov reported being threatened by unknown individuals in Almaty. Alzhanov, known for his critical commentary on the Kazakh government, filed a complaint with the police following the incident.

Despite promises of political reforms by current President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev, Kazakhstan continues to be criticized for its suppression of dissent. The country has experienced political turmoil and violence in recent years, with opposition figures being targeted and citizens being denied basic freedoms. Many view the president’s reforms as mere cosmetic changes, as the crackdown on dissent persists in the country.

 

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