President Urges Law Enforcement Agencies to Strengthen Justice and Order

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with heads of law enforcement agencies on Nov. 15, stressing their massive responsibility for establishing justice and order in society, Akorda press service reported. 

Photo credit: The Council of Europe.

On Nov. 9 in Astana, former Minister of National Economy Kuandyk Bishimbayev was detained on suspicion of having murdered his wife, Saltanat Nukenova. This high-profile crime has sparked discussions about the need to criminalize domestic violence in the country.

Tokayev instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs to keep the case that resonated with Kazakhstan under special control.

“The law must be the same for all. Justice in society is the solidarity of citizens for the sake of strengthening the rule of law. A just Kazakhstan is a country where law and order reign,” he said.

Kazakhstan has recently toughened administrative and criminal liability for domestic violence. According to recent legislative amendments adopted in July, such crimes are now detected not only through victim statements but also by witnesses, neighbors, video recordings, and more testimony. 

“Some people believe that tightened legislation may lead to a decrease in detection of such offenses,” wrote State Counselor Erlan Karin in a Nov. 15 Telegram post emphasizing that the inevitability and severity of punishment serve as the most effective mechanisms against crimes.

He stressed that citizens’ concern is the primary barrier against such offenses, calling it crucial to create an atmosphere of zero tolerance for incivility, aggression, and any crime.

“As long as there is a lenient attitude towards such acts in society, it is difficult to expect an effect from the measures taken by the state,” he said.

Karin referred to the speeches of President Tokayev, who reiterated the need to suppress any manifestations of incivility, vandalism, and violence, and tighten punishment for crimes against individuals, particularly women and children.

Kazakhstan has been taking systematic measures to combat domestic violence since 2020. The initiatives of the National Council of Public Trust, an institution that was replaced by the National Kurultai in 2022, led to reinforced staffing levels in relevant police units and the introduction of specialized female investigators for domestic violence cases. 

Karin stated that fighting against any instances of destructive behavior requires an integrated approach. The principles of intolerance to crime should be promoted on the public level and strict adherence to law and order – at the governmental level.

“Therefore, government agencies and social activists should develop a consolidated approach to combat incivility and violence effectively,” the state counselor said.

From July 1, the police switched from declarative to detective registration of domestic offenses, reported Previously, half of the domestic violence cases were halted in court for reconciliation, which occurred as a result of persuasion or pressure from the aggressor or relatives.

Reconciliation can only be done once, in court, putting an end to the psychological pressure on victims.

The responsibility for domestic offenses has also been strengthened, resulting in an increased number of those brought to justice from 7,000 to 27,000 in July-October. Consequently, the number of arrested aggressors has doubled.

In total, 60,000 offenders were brought to administrative responsibility this year, with 75,000 protective orders issued against them.

Courts established 12,000 special requirements for offender behavior and halted 10,000 violations of established restrictions.

In ten months of this year, Kazakhstan witnessed a 20% decrease in the registration of reports of offenses in family and domestic relations, including a 12% decline in serious crimes and a 4.2% decrease in criminal offenses.

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