Two Dungans convicted in the case of pogroms of Dungan villages in Kazakhstan are released

On August 15, 2022, two Dungans convicted in a high-profile case of pogroms in the Dungan villages of Masanchi, Bular Batyr and Aukhatty in the Kordai district of Kazakhstan (February 7-8, 2020) were released on parole. They spent more than two and a half years in prison.

14 of the 51 defendants in the case of the Dungan pogrom were Dungan, of whom one was acquitted, while the rest were put on probation or sent to prison. At the trial, the Dungans called for justice, said that they were defending the lives of their relatives and fellow villagers, that confessions were given under pressure, pointed to the lack of evidence of their guilt, to gaps and violations in the investigation process. During the court hearings, blatant facts of torture and beatings of those under investigation became known. During the debate, the lawyers provided convincing evidence that the investigation was biased. Three Dungans were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment on charges of murdering a rioter and shooting at policemen, but the investigation did not have a single direct testimony against the defendants; as lawyer Aliya Zhamanbayeva proved, there had been a forgery of the alleged murder weapon (a pitchfork) and numerous errors in the forensic medical examination; in addition, in his last statement, one of the defendants confessed to the slander of Zhamanbayeva’s client under pressure from the investigators.

According to official data, as a result of the pogrom, 10 Dungans and 1 Kazakh were killed, hundreds of people were injured, and the damage from the destroyed and damaged property belonging to the Dungans (houses, outbuildings, trade facilities, vehicles) amounts to millions of dollars. Thousands of Dungans were forced to leave their homes and flee to neighbouring Kyrgyzstan. Despite the fact that this conflict was clearly inter-ethnic in nature and, according to a number of signs, was pre-planned, the authorities of Kazakhstan have not yet recognized the ethnic or racial motives of the attackers.

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