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KAZAKHSTAN: Pentecostal jailed for 2 months pre-trial, Baptist gets 3-days jail, atheist still in psychiatric hospital
ICC Note:
When Aleksei gathered with his friends for worship he didn’t feel that he was doing anything punishable by law. However, the authorities beg to differ, as they fined him a steep fine as punishment. Aleksei refused to pay it, again stating that he did nothing wrong. Once he refused to pay the fine, he was jailed for three days for “failure to carry out court decisions.”

By Felix Corley
5/20/2013 Kazakhstan (Forum18)- …Elsewhere, a Baptist has been jailed for three days in north-eastern Kazakhstan. Baptist leader Aleksei Asetov was given a three-day prison term for refusing to pay a fine, imposed for meeting without state permission. The fine is equivalent to 485,400 Tenge (18,725 Norwegian Kroner, 2,486 Euros or 3,273 US Dollars) and was handed down on 8 February 2012. Local people estimated that this was about a year and a half’s average local wages (see F18News 14 February 2012 http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1666).
On 17 April 2013, court executor Zh. Akhmetov handed Asetov a written order to pay the fine immediately. When he failed to do so, he received a court summons. On 4 May, Judge Gular Sagidenov of Ekibastuz Specialised Administrative Court handed down the prison term, to start at 10.30 that morning, according to the verdict seen by Forum 18.
The jailing was imposed under Article 524 (“Failure to carry out court decisions”) of the Code of Administrative Offences.
Forum 18 was unable to reach Judge Sagidenov at the court on 20 May. “He is in a hearing and there are many people waiting,” his assistant, who did not give her name, told Forum 18. “The court hearing was open and anyone can read the decision. There’s nothing else to comment on it.”
Asetov was held in the special detention centre in Ekibastuz until he was released on the morning of 7 May. “Conditions there were good,” he told Forum 18 from the town on 20 May. “I have no complaints. I was able to rest and the food was OK.” He said he had been able to keep his Bible with him and pray, though he regretted having to miss Sunday worship in his church on 5 May.
Asetov insists he will not pay the fine, as he does not consider meeting for worship with his friends to be something for which he should be punished. He said the Prosecutor’s Office is pressuring the court executor to extract the fine, otherwise criminal charges might follow.
Imprisonment follows further raid
Asetov’s three-day imprisonment came after a further police raid on the Ekibastuz Baptist congregation. In late March, at least four police officers raided a meeting for worship on a Sunday. They filmed all those present and the building where the church meets. They asked why the Council of Churches Baptist congregation meets without state registration and why a sign that it is a church is placed on the outside of the building.
One of those who raided the church, S. Dzhaksybergenov, insisted that he was only there to take photographs. “That was my task, and only that,” he told Forum 18 from Ekibastuz on 20 May. “The prosecutor gave the orders.” He said a case under the Administrative Code was being prepared.
Dzhaksybergenov referred Forum 18 to Azamat Karimov of the local police Fight against Extremism, Separatism and Terrorism Department, who had also been present during the raid. However, Forum 18 was unable to reach him on 20 May.

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