Kazakh dissident dies following assassination attempt in Ukraine

Wife of journalist Aydos Sadykov blames Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for attack in Kyiv last month.

Kazakh journalist and government critic Aidos Sadykov
Kazakh journalist and government critic Aidos Sadykov (L) is pictured with his wife, Natalya Sadykova [Natalya Sadykova/Facebook]

A Kazakh dissident has died in Ukraine, two weeks after being shot outside his home last month.

Kyiv-based journalist Aydos Sadykov was shot in the head while seated in a car with his wife on June 18. Ukrainian prosecutors suspect that the “carefully planned” attack was carried out by a pair of suspected assassins from Kazakhstan.

Sadykov’s wife, Natalya Sadykova, blamed Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for the death of her husband, who was an outspoken critic of the Central Asian country’s leadership.

“My beloved husband, father of our three children, great son of the Kazakh people. Aydos dedicated his life to Kazakhstan and suffered martyrdom at the hands of killers,” Sadykova said in a Facebook post.

“His death is on Tokayev’s conscience,” she declared.

Who are the suspects?

According to the office of Ukraine’s prosecutor general, two Kazakh citizens, one of them a former policeman, are suspected of shooting Sadykov. Both left the country on the same day, they say, escaping to Moldova.

While Kazakhstan has since detained one of the suspects, named as Altai Zhakanbayev, it has said it would not hand him over to Ukraine. The second suspect remains at large.

President Tokayev instructed Kazakh law enforcement agencies to cooperate with Ukraine to locate the suspects, his spokesperson said last month, according to Russian news agencies.

“Astana is ready to cooperate with Ukraine, including through Interpol,” the spokesperson was cited as saying.

‘Bring them to justice’

Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation into the shooting of Sadykov, who ran a YouTube channel often critical of Kazakhstan’s former president Nursultan Nazarbayev and then his successor Tokayev.

“The news of the attack on Sadykov during broad daylight in the Kyiv city centre is deeply disturbing,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch last month.

“Ukrainian authorities should ensure Sydykov’s safety, identify the attacker, bring them to justice, and determine who ordered the attack. Kazakhstan should show it is committed to the rule of law during this process.”

Source: News Agencies