KAZAKHSTAN: New religious meeting restrictions now in Senate

Source:                www.forum18.org

Date:                      October 11, 2021

 


Religion Law changes to widen state religious censorship and make holding
religious meetings more difficult are now in parliament's upper house. Any
religious community which does not own its own building, or wants to hold a
pilgrimage or other event away from their own place of worship, would have
to have advance state permission for the meeting or event – including
regular meetings for worship - if the amendments are adopted.

KAZAKHSTAN: New religious meeting restrictions now in Senate
https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2691&source=gmail&ust=1634259331090000&usg=AFQjCNE4ejjraT4GwkEH5UZisECNE7ZdEw">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2691
By Felix Corley, Forum 18

Amendments to the Religion Law to widen state religious censorship and to
make holding religious meetings away from state-registered places of
worship more difficult were approved on 6 October by the lower house of
Kazakhstan's Parliament, the Majilis. They are now in the upper house, the
Senate.

Any state-registered religious community which does not own its own
building, or wants to hold a pilgrimage or other event away from their own
place of worship, would have to have advance state permission for the
meeting or event, if these amendments are adopted by the Senate and signed
by President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev (see below).

Against international law, the regime already bans the exercise of freedom
of religion by communities which do not have state registration or
permission to exist. Members of many religious communities have described
the state registration process as "complex", "burdensome", "arbitrary",
"unnecessary" and "expensive".

The new provision requiring seeking permission to hold religious meetings
away from state-registered places of worship "particularly harshens the
law", one legal expert told Forum 18. "For religious associations which
have no place of worship, each time they want to organise a meeting - for
example for worship - they will need to ask the authorities in advance"
(see below).

The Religion Law changes would require state-registered religious
communities to seek permission for such meetings at least 10 working days
in advance, and provide exhaustive detail about the proposed event,
according to the text published on the Senate website on 8 October.
Officials are given many ways to arbitrarily refuse such requests (see
below).

The draft amendments describe seeking permission for such religious
meetings from local administrations as "notification". But as officials
must give permission before such meetings are allowed, this represents a
requirement for advance state permission to exercise human rights, one
human rights defender told Forum 18 (see below).

The draft amendments would also widen the scope of religious material
subject to prior compulsory state censorship. They include an addition to
the Religion Law to define "informational material of religious content" as
"printed, electronic and other information of religious character on any
device, including textual links" (see below).

Kazakhstan is standing for election to the United Nations Human Rights
Council for 2022-4, with the election due on 14 October 2021. The regime
has pledged that if elected it would "actively engage in the work of the
Council to universalize and effectively implement all civil and political,
as well as economic, social and cultural rights". Among rights it claimed
it would put "particular emphasis" on was freedom of religion and belief
(see below).

The Bureau of the Senate decided on 11 October to allocate the amendments
to its Social and Cultural Development and Science Committee. A Working
Group will be formed which will report its conclusions before the
amendments are sent to a Plenary Session for adoption, a Senate
spokesperson told Forum 18 from the capital Nur-Sultan on 8 October (see
below).

The Information and Social Development Ministry – whose role includes
restricting freedom of religion or belief – initially included the
amendments in a proposed new Law on Social Control made public in January.
The Prime Minister's Office sent the draft Law for revision on 29 June,
ordering that the provisions amending the Religion Law be removed from that
Law (see below).

Yet the Religion Law amendments were suddenly added to amendments to Laws
on Visual Information more than seven months after the Majilis had adopted
the Visual Information amendments in the first reading and just before they
were due for their second reading on 6 October. "They're behaving very
strangely," one individual who has been monitoring the proposed amendments
told Forum 18 from Nur-Sultan on 6 October (see below).

No election in Kazakhstan – including January 2021 parliamentary
elections - has ever been found to be free and fair
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/kazakhstan&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNGw_lESAyefGtE3UAWfl-hoNDgJSw">https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/kazakhstan) by Organisation for
Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) election observers. The
Parliament has always been controlled by the ruling Nur Otan Party.

All the other provisions of the amendments on Visual Information and
Religious Activity – which were prepared by the Culture and Sports
Ministry - are directed at ensuring that announcements, advertisements and
menus are published in both Kazakh and Russian. It remains unclear why the
Religion Law amendments were included in amendments connected with
language.

Beimbet Manetov, head of the Information and Department of Law Enforcement
Practice in the Field of Religious Activities at the Social Development
Ministry's Religious Affairs Committee, has been leading the work on the
Religion Law amendments. He did not answer his phone each time Forum 18
called on 8 October.

Bauyrzhan Bakirov, a Deputy Chair of the Religious Affairs Committee,
refused to answer any questions. "I've told you before you have to send an
official request via the Foreign Ministry," he told Forum 18 on 8 October.
He then put the phone down.

The Information and Social Development Ministry has separately prepared
other draft amendments to both the Religion Law and the Administrative
Code.

According to July drafts seen by Forum 18, the Religion Law changes would
remove the requirement for religious objects (such as icons, prayer mats,
Koran stands, religious pictures or jewellery) to need state approval
before they can be sold or distributed. Many people have been fined for
offering such items for sale without state permission. The requirement for
religious literature published by state-registered religious organisations
to undergo state censorship before it could be published, distributed or
imported would be removed. However, anyone else producing written religious
materials would have to submit them for prior compulsory state censorship
(see below).

According to July drafts seen by Forum 18, the Administrative Code changes
would halve fines for some "offences" for violating the Religion Law under
Article 490 of the Administrative Code, and the possibility of a warning on
the first occasion would be introduced. The Information and Social
Development Ministry also prepared these amendments, and in August a
Justice Ministry official told Forum 18 that "these amendments haven't been
discussed and approved yet" (see below).

The Information and Social Development Ministry's Religious Affairs
Committee refused on 8 October to answer questions, so it is unclear if the
July changes Religion Law and Administrative Code are still being
considered. If they are, other ministries and then the government as a
whole would have to approve any draft laws before they are sent to
Parliament for adoption (see below).

Standing for UN Human Rights Council "to .. effectively implement all ..
rights" ?

Kazakhstan is standing for election to the United Nations Human Rights
Council for 2022-4, with the election due on 14 October 2021. As part of
its Voluntary Pledges and Commitments (A/76/86
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://undocs.org/A/76/86)&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNGWNY32uFVQ_aAheoUIsMdYj5rr7A">https://undocs.org/A/76/86)), submitted to the UN General Assembly on 14
June, it pledged that if elected, it would "actively engage in the work of
the Council to universalize and effectively implement all civil and
political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights". Among rights
it claimed it would put "particular emphasis" on was freedom of religion
and belief.

Already tight restrictions on exercising freedom of religion or belief

Against international law, the regime bans the exercise of freedom of
religion or belief without state permission
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409). Members of many
religious communities have described the state registration process as
"complex", "burdensome", "arbitrary", "unnecessary" and "expensive".

Even communities that have state permission need permission for the
location of where they hold meetings for worship. Those who violate these
provisions, and those who choose to meet for worship without seeking state
permission, face punishment.

In February 2019, police raided a group of Hare Krishna devotees as they
were meeting for devotional chants
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2464&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFC6w2sO0Q_Z5A8EkRsU4NdtDxcgw">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2464) in an Atyrau flat.
The Regional Religious Affairs Department drew up a record of an "offence"
against the community and sent it to court. However, the court sent the
case back. The Department later withdrew the case. The raid came four
months after the Hare Krishna community had gained state registration.

The regime also imposes tight restrictions on religious literature and
other materials (https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409).
Religious literature is subject to compulsory pre-publication censorship
and – together with icons, pictures and jewellery with religious
inscriptions - can be distributed only in state-approved venues. Sharing
faith with others without state permission is also banned.

In January 2021, a court in Pavlodar fined Alyona Aidina for offering a
copy of the Koran for sale online
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2634&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNEoQAHrkPPg0m6tWQe4Inq-ZoTt2A">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2634).

New restrictions on religious meetings and events

The changes to the Religion Law in the draft now in the Senate would make
the ability of state-registered religious communities to hold meetings away
from their state-registered places of worship more difficult. Under a new
Religion Law Article 7-1, any religious community which does not own its
own building, or wants to hold a pilgrimage or other event away from their
own place of worship, must have state permission for the meeting or event
in advance, were these amendments to be adopted.

Between 1 January and 31 August 2021, the regime fined at least 15 people
(one twice) and three organisations for holding meetings for worship,
hosting such meetings, maintaining places for such meetings, or holding
other religious rituals without state permission
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2680&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNG6IxXCZHanbiG7BPGBc05NfJXRRQ">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2680). After a Muslim was
fined for leading Friday prayers, a police officer told Forum 18: "It is
not allowed to pray at any location unless it's approved." Challenged about
open surveillance of Baptists meeting for worship, an official claimed:
"This isn't spying, this is monitoring," adding "we go to mosques,
churches."

The new Religion Law Article 7-1 requirement to seek advance state
permission to hold religious meetings away from state-registered places of
worship "particularly harshens the law", one legal expert told Forum 18 on
8 October. "For religious associations which have no place of worship, each
time they want to organise a meeting - for example for worship - they will
need to ask the authorities in advance."

Many Protestant, Jehovah's Witness, and Hare Krishna communities are among
those which do not own their own buildings, and would therefore be among
those subject to these new state restrictions on exercising their human
rights.

According to the amendments published on the Senate website on 8 October,
the Religion Law changes:

- require state-registered religious communities to seek permission for
such meetings from local administrations at least 10 working days in
advance;

- and provide precise and exhaustive detail about the proposed event, some
of which the religious community will find difficult to provide in advance.
The precise details required including the date, start and end time, how
people will get there, fire and medical precautions envisaged, whether loud
speakers will be used, and how many people will travel in each vehicle.

Local officials are given many ways to arbitrarily refuse such requests.
They have five working days from receiving the application to request extra
information if they think the planned activity or the information supplied
is not in accordance with state requirements.

The state-registered religious community would have two working days to
submit a revised application. If the community fails to lodge the revised
application on time, or fails to remove any unspecified inconsistencies in
the application, officials can withhold permission up to two calendar days
before the meeting or event was due to take place.

Decisions on whether an application does not meet state requirements, has
unspecified inconsistencies, or the information supplied is incomplete or
unacceptable in any way, are made by state officials. The only possibility
of appeal is to resubmit an application.

"Communities would have arranged transport and amplifying equipment, and
advertised the event, and then at the last minute receive news that the
local authority had banned it, when it would be too late to get their money
back," one religious leader told Forum 18 in August
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2680&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNG6IxXCZHanbiG7BPGBc05NfJXRRQ">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2680).



The amendments describe seeking permission for such religious meetings from
local administrations as "notification". But as officials must give
permission before such meetings are allowed, this represents a requirement
for advance state permission to exercise human rights, one human rights
defender told Forum 18 in August
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2680&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNG6IxXCZHanbiG7BPGBc05NfJXRRQ">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2680).

More state censorship

The regime's existing prior state censorship of religious texts and objects
– including places where they may be sold or distributed
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409) - is already severe.
The amendments now in the Senate would also widen the scope of religious
material subject to prior compulsory state censorship. They include an
addition to Article 1 of the Religion Law to define "informational material
of religious content" as "printed, electronic and other information of
religious character on any device, including textual links".

Between January and August 2021, the regime is known to have fined 26
people and given 2 verbal reprimands for online and offline offering for
sale religious literature or other religious objects, such as icons, vinyl
records and Koran stands, without state permission.
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2683&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNHU8EZ68OffiDxiBHkmCMp37Bhj7Q">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2683). It remains unclear
if the amendments would make it possible for individuals to be punished
even for sending a weblink to a religious publication.

The amendments revised Religion Law Article 3 specifically claims to
protect the rights of non-believers as well as believers in a religion or
belief. However, in practice officials are not under any constraint in
violating the right to freedom of religion or belief of those with or
without religious beliefs.

If the amendments are adopted and signed by President Kasym-Zhomart
Tokayev, the new provisions would come into force 10 days after official
publication.

Violating human rights obligations

Kazakhstan's international human rights obligations require the regime to
protect the right to freedom of assembly, and of the interlinked freedom of
religion and belief. "The right to freedom of peaceful assembly can be
enjoyed and exercised by individuals and groups (informal or ad hoc), legal
entities and corporate bodies, and unregistered or registered associations,
including trade unions, political parties and religious groups," states the
Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf%3DCDL-AD(2019)017-e&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNEM79XOaHN3NSIXpa3D4maSm7Y3jg">https://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-AD(2019)017-e),
produced by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
and the Council of Europe's Venice Commission.

"A prior notice requirement is a de facto interference with the right to
freedom of assembly, and any such requirement should therefore be
prescribed by law, necessary and proportionate," the OSCE/Venice Commission
Guidelines add. "A notification regime should never be turned into a de
facto authorization procedure. The procedure for providing advance
notification to the public authorities should not be onerous or overly
bureaucratic."

Similarly, the OSCE / Council of Europe Venice Commission Guidelines on the
Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/9/9/139046.pdf&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNGHB5P6VaDuH3xl4GlMKoQ5ZEux3w">https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/9/9/139046.pdf) note that under
international human rights law: "State permission may not be made a
condition for the exercise of the freedom of religion or belief. The
freedom of religion or belief, whether manifested alone or in community
with others, in public or in private, cannot be made subject to prior
registration or other similar procedures, since it belongs to human beings
and communities as rights holders and does not depend on official
authorization."

The Guidelines also note that this includes "pilgrimages and participation
in assemblies and other religious events," and in paragraphs 5 to 9 outline
the only legally permissible grounds on which the freedom can be limited.
The regime's Visual Information and Religious Activity amendments ignore
these grounds.

"They're behaving very strangely"

The Information and Social Development Ministry – whose role includes
restricting freedom of religion or belief – proposed a new Law on Social
Control which would amend the Health Code and 16 laws including the
Religion Law. The draft Law was published for public consultation on the
government's draft Law website on 15 January. A deadline of 29 January was
given for comments. The website includes comments from only one person, all
related to other aspects of the draft Law.

The Information and Social Development Ministry initially included the
amendments in a proposed new Law on Social Control made public in January.
The Prime Minister's Office sent the draft Law for revision on 29 June,
ordering that the Religion Law amendments be removed from that Law.

Just before Visual Information amendments to the Health Code and 15 laws
were due for second reading on 6 October (having had their first reading
seven months earlier on 24 February), the same Religion Law amendments were
added to the Visual Information amendments. At the same time the title of
all the amendments was changed to "Visual Information and Religious
Activity".

The Majilis approved the Visual Information and Religious Activity
amendments on 6 October, and sent them to the Senate which registered them
on 8 October.

The Bureau of the Senate decided on 11 October to allocate the amendments
to its Social and Cultural Development and Science Committee. A Working
Group will be formed which will report its conclusions before the
amendments are sent to a Plenary Session for adoption, a Senate
spokesperson told Forum 18 from the capital Nur-Sultan on 8 October.

"They're behaving very strangely," one individual who has been monitoring
the proposed amendments told Forum 18 from Nur-Sultan on 6 October.

Separate proposed Religion Law amendments still current?

The Information and Social Development Ministry also prepared separate
amendments to the Religion Law. These have not been made public. Forum 18
has seen a draft text from late July. As officials at the Ministry's
Religious Affairs Committee refused to answer any questions on 6 October,
Forum 18 was unable to find out if these proposed amendments are still
being considered.

An amendment in the July draft to Religion Law Articles 1 and 6 would
remove the requirement for religious objects (such as icons, prayer mats,
Koran stands, religious pictures or jewellery) to need approval before they
can be sold or distributed
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409). Article 5 would be
amended to remove the requirement for local administrations to approve
where religious objects can be sold or distributed.

Another amendment to Article 6 would also remove the requirement for
religious literature published by state-registered religious organisations
to undergo state censorship
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409) before it could be
published, distributed or imported. However, anyone else producing written
religious materials would have to submit them for prior compulsory state
censorship.

Aibar Abilov of the Expertise (Censorship) Department of the Religious
Affairs Department refused to explain why the regime imposes prior
compulsory state censorship of religious materials. "That is a question not
to me," he told Forum 18 from Nur-Sultan in August
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2680&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNG6IxXCZHanbiG7BPGBc05NfJXRRQ">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2680). He refused to say
how many books, icons or other materials his Department had analysed in
2021 or give any other information about the Department's activity.

Proposed Administrative Code amendments still current?

The Information and Social Development Ministry also prepared amendments to
Administrative Code Article 490 of the Administrative Code, which punishes
"Violating the Religion Law"
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409) with fines and, in
the case of foreigners, deportation. Courts have also ordered that
religious literature seized as part of such administrative prosecutions be
destroyed. Communities and individuals found guilty can also face bans on
their activity for up to three months.

Individuals, companies and charities are regularly punished under
Administrative Code Article 490 for:

- meeting for worship without state permission, hosting such meetings or
maintaining places for such meetings;

- offering religious materials to others for free without state permission;

- offering religious literature, icons or other items for sale without
state permission;

- offering religious items for sale online without state permission;

- posting religious materials online without state permission;

- trying to import religious literature without state permission;

- sharing faith with others without state permission;

- praying in mosques in ways that the state-controlled Muslim Board has
banned, for example by using the word "Amen";

- teaching their faith to children without state permission.

Known administrative cases for exercising freedom of religion and belief in
the 2020 calendar year totalled 134
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2634&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNEoQAHrkPPg0m6tWQe4Inq-ZoTt2A">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2634) (in comparison to 168
in 2019 (https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2532&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNHRH1Re5dl-viZ-G2l_-8Bb3AhHcQ">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2532), 171 in 2018
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2448&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFlMdYwpGUo25XCKRiquwwanRN-Xg">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2448) and 284 in 2017
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2347)&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNGNL2bjAZl07Q8qxhj3aeDXWORUMA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2347)). Almost all of these
prosecutions were under Administrative Code Article 490.

The Information and Social Development Ministry prepared these amendments,
Nazken Zhamaladin, Deputy Head of the Justice Ministry's Legislative
Department told Forum 18 from Nur-Sultan in August
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2680&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNG6IxXCZHanbiG7BPGBc05NfJXRRQ">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2680). However, the
Information and Social Development Ministry has not made them public. Forum
18 has seen a draft text from late July. "These amendments haven't been
discussed and approved yet," Zhamaladin added.

As officials at the Ministry's Religious Affairs Committee refused to
answer any questions on 6 October, Forum 18 was unable to find out if these
proposed amendments are still being considered. Forum 18 was also unable to
find out why the Ministry had decided to change but not to remove
punishments for people exercising their freedom of religion or belief.

Under the July draft, punishments would be reduced for individuals for
meeting for worship without state permission, hosting such meetings or
maintaining places for such meetings, offering religious materials to
others for free without state permission, offering religious literature,
icons or other items for sale without state permission, offering religious
items for sale online without state permission, posting religious materials
online without state permission, trying to import religious literature
without state permission, or praying in mosques in ways that the
state-controlled Muslim Board has banned, for example by using the word
"Amen".

Currently individuals face fines of 50 Monthly Financial Indicators, about
1 month's average wage for those in formal work. This would be halved to 25
MFIs, with the new possibility of an official warning instead.

Under the July draft, punishments would be reduced for individuals for
sharing faith with others without state permission.

Currently individuals face fines of 100 MFIs, about 2 months' average wage
for those in formal work. This would be halved to 50 MFIs, with the new
possibility of an official warning instead.

Fines under all these provisions for registered religious organisations and
companies would also be halved from 200 to 100 MFIs.

An amendment to the provision punishing leaders of state-registered
religious communities which fail to prevent children from attending
meetings for worship against the wishes of one or both parents would remove
the possibility of deportation (which is currently envisaged even for
Kazakh citizens). The amendment would halve the fine to 25 MFIs and also
allow for a warning instead, but would introduce an additional punishment
of one month's ban on the religious community's activity.

The Information and Social Development Ministry does not appear to have
proposed any amendments to Administrative Code Article 489
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409). Part 9 punishes
"Leadership of an unregistered, halted, or banned religious community or
social organisation" with a fine of 100 MFIs. Part 10 punishes
"Participation in an unregistered, halted, or banned religious community or
social organisation" with a fine of 50 MFIs. (END)

Full reports on freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Kazakhstan
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?query%3D%26religion%3Dall%26country%3D29&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNGKuh61S02O062MpUa4_cpHeUZxXQ">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?query=&religion=all&country=29)

For more background, see Forum 18's Kazakhstan religious freedom survey
(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id%3D2409&source=gmail&ust=1634259331091000&usg=AFQjCNFognDaeTiIQdoz3FDqicPpXg9FUA">https://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2409)

Forum 18's compilation of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in
Europe (OSCE) freedom of religion or belief commitments
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