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FEBRUARY 9, 2017

Kazakhstan Court Rules to Keep Witness in Pretrial Detention

On January 30, 2017, the Astana City Court rejected an appeal to release Teymur Akhmedov from pretrial detention. He was arrested on January 18 for talking to a group of men who feigned interest in the religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Teymur was charged with “inciting religious discord” and “advocating [religious] superiority.” The court did not cite any evidence to prove that it was necessary to detain Teymur.

The decision is now in force and is not subject to further appeals. Teymur must remain in pretrial detention until his criminal investigation is completed. If he is indicted and found guilty at trial, he could face a five-to-ten-year prison term.