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ICC Note:
When Almenova found out that Pastor Kashkumbayev was arrested for poisoning her communion juice, she stepped forward to say that he “is totally innocent and has not harmed my health at all.” In response to this, she told Forum 18 that, “The authorities forcibly put me in a psychiatric ward between 23 February and 13 March for psychological assessment, for the second time, to find me mentally ill in order to disregard my appeals and petitions in favour of Pastor Kashkumbayev as someone who is not answerable for my actions and words…I was given injections that made me very apathetic and passive”. She told Forum 18 that she was not told what she was being injected with. 
07/26/2013 Kazakhstan (Forum 18) –Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev, who leads Grace Church in the capital Astana, was arrested on criminal charges of “harming health” on 17 May and subsequently ordered detained on unclear charges. He is still in detention. As happened with earlier state allegations of the alleged administration of drugs in 2012 (see below), the state’s 2013 allegations were repeated in hostile media coverage (see F18News 20 May 2013http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1837).

Detention Extended
Pastor Kashkumbayev was on 19 July transferred to Almaty City Detention Centre No. 2, from where he was supposed to be transferred to the Almaty City Psychological-Psychiatric Assessment Centre, Kashkumbayev’s son Askar and the Church’s lawyer Riza Nurbayeva told Forum 18 on 25 July.
His transferal to Almaty came as a result of Astana Police Investigator Vyacheslav Glazkov’s order for Kashkumbayev to undergo further psychiatric assessment in the in-patient Almaty Centre and his petition, supported by Astana City’s Almaty District Prosecutor Office, to extend Kashkumbayev’s custody for one more month, until 17 August. On 8 July this was granted by Judge Nurlan Bayakhmetov of Astana City’s Almaty District Court No 2.

“This is not a serious case, and Investigator Glazkov achieved the extension of the custody to find more evidences to support the serious charges he brought against my father”, Askar Kshkumbayev told Forum 18.
“He is trying to win time to find evidence which do not exist, because my father did not plan on making people sick and did not harm anyone. He may also hope that my father will be diagnosed as mentally ill so he can close the case now that there is so much international attention to it.” This would allow the Pastor to be potentially confined in a psychiatric hospital.
“Our only hope is the support we can get from wider public and international community. The local news media publish materials against my father. It looks like the authorities are intent on punishing my father,” Askar Kashkumbayev told Forum 18.

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