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  • Human Rights Research Center

Guilty Verdict in High-Profile Kazakhstan Domestic Violence and Murder Case

May 15, 2024

Cited article from The Associated Press

HRRC commends Kazakhstan's Supreme Court decision in sentencing a former economy minister to prison for the brutal torture and murder of his wife. This high-profile case brought attention to the wider societal problem of domestic violence in Kazakhstan, and emphasized the important roles of public awareness, social media, and activism in driving change and seeking justice in such cases.

News Brief

Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court has handed down a landmark verdict, convicting former economy minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev of torturing and murdering his wife, Saltanat Nukenova, and sentencing him to 24 years in prison. This case, which has captivated the nation, prompted widespread calls for tougher action against domestic violence, leading to the adoption of legislation aimed at strengthening penalties for such offenses. Despite being a patriarchal society, Kazakhstan has taken a step forward in addressing issues like domestic violence, spurred the widespread online streaming and discussions on social media surrounding the trial. The tragic death of Nukenova, followed by her relatives' petition for "Saltanat's Law," garnered significant public support, reflecting a growing demand for better protection of vulnerable individuals.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has emphasized the need to bolster safeguards for women, intervening to ensure the consideration of Nukenova's family's petition, despite initial resistance from the Justice Ministry. The legal reforms include harsher penalties for perpetrators of domestic violence and new criminal offenses, marking a shift from previous leniency towards such crimes. However, the successful implementation of these measures will require comprehensive efforts, including educational initiatives and community engagement, as highlighted by Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbayev. While progress is being made, challenges remain in combating domestic violence and promoting gender equality in Kazakhstan.


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