Media: The Police Detained Environmental Activist in Western Kazakhstan Oblast

Translated by Crude Accountability. The original article was published by Uralsk Weekly on May 7, 2019http://www.uralskweek.kz/2019/05/07/policiya-zaderzhala-ekologicheskogo-aktivista-v-zko/]

In Burlin District of Western Kazakhstan Region [of Kazakhstan] the police, without any explanation, detained environmental activist Sergey Solyanik. He was detained while photographing in the village of Berezovka, the residents of which were relocated from the area of impact from the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field.

Sergey Solyanik and his wife were detained by the police on the morning of May 7 when they were photographing scenes of the abandoned village of Berezovka in Burlin District. Sergey Solyanik informed the editors by telephone.

“We arrived in the village of Berezovka in order to photograph it. Today, many former residents of the village came to the local cemetery. Previously, I actively helped the villagers fight for relocation. I was hoping to speak with them in order to find out how satisfied they are with the conditions of their relocation.  But when we photographed scenes of the abandoned village, we were approached by police cars and they detained us and took us to the Regional Department of Internal Affairs,” Sergey Solyanik managed to say.

After two and a half hours Sergey informed us that he had left the building of the Burlin Regional Department of Internal Affairs.

“Investigator Aygul Alekeshova spoke with me, and she said that I am a witness in a criminal case initiated under Article 274 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2017. I do not know what the essence of this matter is because I refused to answer the questions of the investigator without a lawyer. I was given an agenda for May 8th. She refused my demands to provide a copy of the decision to initiate a criminal case and a copy of the decision to include me as a witness. I do not understand the essence of the case and the investigator herself would not explain it to me,” said Sergey Solyanik.

At the present time (writing about the news occurred two hours after the detainment), Sergey was still in the Burlin District Department of Internal Affairs.

UPDATE: Sergey Solyanik was released from the Burlin District Department of Internal Affairs two hours later. After this he returned to the Office of the Prosecutor of Burlin District with a complaint about the actions of the police officers.[