Special Report
“Qazaqstan Shutdown 2022”
Restrictions on Digital Rights During and After January Events
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Digital Paradigm Public Foundation
Theme: Internet Shutdown
Access to messenger platforms WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal was restricted from January 4 throughout Kazakhstan, followed by the total blocking of web resources on the next day.
On January 5th, Kazakhtelecom and Beeline shut down access of their users to both to mobile and wired Internet. Since Internet in Kazakhstan is centralized, meaning that any international traffic goes only through the networks of international telecommunications operators, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the population of the entire country was cut off from web resources.
The access to Internet was restored on the night of January 6th, but it didn’t last for long. News on Internet blocking in Kazakhstan was published in Telegram channels by GlobalCheck and NetBlocks.
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Digital Paradigm Public Foundation
Theme: Internet Shutdown
Access to messenger platforms WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal was restricted from January 4 throughout Kazakhstan, followed by the total blocking of web resources on the next day.
On January 5th, Kazakhtelecom and Beeline shut down access of their users to both to mobile and wired Internet. Since Internet in Kazakhstan is centralized, meaning that any international traffic goes only through the networks of international telecommunications operators, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the population of the entire country was cut off from web resources.
The access to Internet was restored on the night of January 6th, but it didn’t last for long. News on Internet blocking in Kazakhstan was published in Telegram channels by GlobalCheck and NetBlocks.
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Gulmira Birzhanova
Legal Media Center Public Foundation
Theme: Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
The events that took place on January 4-8, 2022, resulted in certain restrictions, including in respect of the freedom of online opinion and expression. Many representatives of the civil society, who fulfilled their social and professional duties to expose and document ongoing events, came under pressure by the limbs of law. Detainments, mass-scale summons to questioning in law enforcement authorities, arrests of journalists and bloggers, administrative penalties for publishing posts, physical attacks, and blockage of information websites – all this, without doubt, reflects violations of the right to the freedom of opinion and expression.
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Danila Bekturganov
Civil Expertise Public Foundation
Theme: IE-Participation
No access to governmental services was available during the period of the total internet shutdown. There was no access to the electronic government website as well as to any other governmental databases.
After the internet connection had been restored, e-government services were made accessible, for some exceptions. The information message published by eGov contained a statement on the possibility of interruptions in the provision of certain services, rendered by local governmental authorities.
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Diana Okremova
Legal Media Center Public Foundation
Theme: Access to Information
In the time of the total shutdown, which all Kazakhstani residents had to deal with, the access to public information was quite difficult. However, the government understood that keeping people in the information vacuum is not a good idea as it could produce more problems. That is why, in the midst of the events (on January 5-6), when internet was blocked throughout the entire country, citizens of Kazakhstan received actual information through TV (channels Khabar 24, Qazaqstan, and Atameken Business were operating). Mainly, they showed news on what was happening in Almaty and other regions, President's addresses, and warnings on....
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Veniamin Alayev
Commission on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Named after K. Imanaliyev (Public Association)
Theme: Digital Inclusion
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities three times mentions that member states should take all appropriate measures to provide persons with disabilities with access to the internet.
As to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, as of October 8, 2021, more than 702, 000 persons with permanent disabilities live in Kazakhstan. ‘Nothing about Us without Us’ is the slogan of the public associations of people with disabilities. These organizations should be involved in the development of respective policies and programs. Internet technologies enable physically challenged persons to live a more productive life in modern society as never before. They can play a full-fledged role in social life and make a significant contribution into the economy, provided they have adequate internet tools. However, persons with disabilities, as well as the rest of the country's population, were cut off from the internet during the state of emergency.
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Roman Reimer
Yerkindik Kanaty (Wing of Freedom) Public Foundation
Theme: Right to a Fair Trial
Starting from January 5, 2022, the President issued respective Decrees to impose the state of emergency over the entire territory of Kazakhstan. The Law “On State of Emergency” establishes that the ground for imposing a state of emergency resides in ensuring safety and security, protection of human and citizen rights and freedoms, and also protection of the constitutional system of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
When analyzing those President’s Decrees on the imposition of the state of emergency, we do not find any clauses that limit activities of the courts of Kazakhstan. It relates to the fact that the access to a fair court proceeding is one of the key constitutional rights of any human.
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Eurasian Digital Foundation Public Foundation
Theme: Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
With regard to the serious and immediate hazard to the safety of citizens and with the aim of ensuring social security, on January 5th, 2022, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan issued respective Decrees on imposing the state of emergency until January 19th, 2022, in certain regions of the country.
After public disorder in Kazakhstan, 388 criminal proceedings have been initiated due to the facts of attacks on the buildings of governmental authorities and law enforcement agencies. This was announced on the 11th of January by the press relations office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. According to the statement of the press relations office, “The representative of the
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
KazGUU (M.Narikbayev KAZGUU University)
Theme: Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
According to the current Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Personal Data and Their Protection”, personal data matters in Kazakhstan refer to regulated activities. This law defines basic provisions on the processes related to personal data and their protection.
Under the state of emergency, Kazakhstan imposed a number of temporary restrictive measures. Some of those restrictions focused on strengthening public order and security of the crucial governmental objects and facilities that support vital functions of the population and transport operations. The freedom of movement was also restricted. Article 15 of the Law “On State of Emergency” allows checking personal identification documents as well as inspecting personal items and transport vehicles. In an attempt to analyze if the actions of officials who conducted such inspections were lawful, we should consult the effective laws of Kazakhstan,
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Arsen Aubakirov
Human Rights Consulting Group Public Foundation
Theme: Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Speaking of the legal standpoint, decisions, by which mobile operators, being business entities, introduced internet restrictions, blocked web resources, and later shut down the internet completely, are substantiated by the imposition of the state of emergency – at first, in certain regions, and then throughout the entire country, by the announcement of the conduction of anti-terroristic operations, and also by the provisions of the Law “On Communications”. In such a way, in light of the country-wide digitization, the sphere of telecommunications technologies suffered along with many other sectors of economy and end consumers of goods and services.
Yelzhan Kabyshev
Internet Shutdown
Gulmira Birzhanova
Freedom of Online Opinion and Expression
Danila Bekturganov
E-Participation
Diana Okremova
Access to Information
Veniamin Alayev
Digital Inclusion
Roman Reimer
Right to a Fair Trial
Ruslan Daiyrbekov
Special Legal Aspects of Processing Personal Data of Citizens during the State of Emergency in Kazakhstan
Dana Mukhamedzhanova
Inspection of Phones under a State of Emergency: Invasion of Privacy or Reasonable Measures
Arsen Aubakirov
Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Arsen Aubakirov
Human Rights Consulting Group Public Foundation
Theme: Business, Internet, and Human Rights
Speaking of the legal standpoint, decisions, by which mobile operators, being business entities, introduced internet restrictions, blocked web resources, and later shut down the internet completely, are substantiated by the imposition of the state of emergency – at first, in certain regions, and then throughout the entire country, by the announcement of the conduction of anti-terroristic operations, and also by the provisions of the Law “On Communications”. In such a way, in light of the country-wide digitization, the sphere of telecommunications technologies suffered along with many other sectors of economy and end consumers of goods and services.
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