Kazakhstan’s General Prosecutor’s Office announced that it approved the indictment against Massimov and sent the case to the Specialized Interdistrict Criminal Court of Astana for consideration.

This action is in direct non-compliance with the opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, who have called for Massimov’s immediate and unconditional release.

Karim Massimov, who suffers from severe chronic coronary artery disease, should also be granted immediate release on humanitarian grounds under Kazakhstani law.

If the authorities of Kazakhstan choose to go to trial, they are rejecting the decision of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. President Tokayev spoke of the importance he places in such institutions at the 77th UN General Assembly in September 2022, stating that “Kazakhstan is ready to cooperate with all relevant actors (in the UN) in a spirit of inclusiveness, multilateralism and goodwill.”

In the case that Kazakhstan moves forward with the “top secret” trial against Massimov, I call on transparency and openness to international observation.