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Criminal Law and White Collar Crime

01 October 2018

The Supreme Court denied the State Migration Service of Ukraine in opening of the cassation proceedings on the complaint against the decision of Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal on the claim of Kazakhstan opposition journalist Zhanara Akhmetova, who was persecuted by the authorities in her home country. Let us remind, that the State Migration Service of Ukraine refused to recognize the woman as a refugee or a person who needs additional protection. In July of this year, the journalist appealed the decision of the District Administrative Court of the city of Kyiv (which denied Akhmetova’s claim). The Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal obligated the State Migration Service to re-examine the application of the citizen of Kazakhstan. Defense of the woman in Ukraine is provided by the lawyers of Ario Law Firm and the Charitable Foundation “The Right to Protection”.

“This one more victory in Zhanara’s Akhmetova case, in my opinion, is logical and confirms unbiased and principled position of the Ukrainian court. And, for sure, this is a great step towards the moment where the dramatic “adventures” that befell Zhanara in Ukraine, where she was looking for protection from an authoritarian regime, finally end and she receives what she came for – freedom and security. Special mention should be made for the professional work of “The Right to Protection”, lawyers foundation, who represented Zhanar in administrative proceedings, and we thank them for their fruitful and effective cooperation,” one of the lawyers of Zhanar Akhmetova, the counsel of Ario Law Firm, Vladyslav Hryshchenko, said.

Let us remind, that Kazakhstan opposition journalist and blogger, Zhanar Akhmetova, was forced to flee to Ukraine along with her minor son Ansar back in March of the last year because of political persecution at home country caused by the criticism of the authorities, which you can read about here: .

In Kyiv, the woman applied to the State Migration Service for obtaining status of a refugee or a person who needs additional protection. While the Migration Service was preparing an answer, a number of hardships fell to Zhanar’s Akhmetova. In particular, two unknown persons attempted to kidnap her (as the journalist notes, it could be representatives of the intelligence services of Kazakhstan), then she was detained by the National Police of Ukraine by the request of the Republic of Kazakhstan and for the time of the extradition check the court chose for her a measure of restrain in the form of detention in custody. Zhanara learned about the SMS refusal to grant her a refugee status from the prosecutor during the court session.

The case of the journalist evoked a wide response among the international human rights organizations and the people’s deputies of Ukraine. Therefore, despite the deliberate production delaying by the law enforcement officers (for example, systematic non-bringing Zhanara to court sessions, etc.), the Kyiv Court of Appeal changed the measure of restraint for the time of the extradition request consideration from arrest to personal obligation. The People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Svitlana Zalishchuk, went bail for Zhanara. However the court sessions did not end for Kazakhstan oppositionist after her release from custody, since a lengthy appeal against the SMS refusal to grant a refugee status began. Now the Cassation Court as part of the Supreme Court of Ukraine said its word, refusing the State Migration Service to open the cassation proceedings.

The position of the Supreme Court can be read here: .