On March 8, in an apartment in Almaty, a Protestant named Sergei Orlov addressed a crowd of church members who had gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day. He mentioned women in the Bible. He told Forum 18 that he knew everyone present, except for one person who filmed the meeting.

On March 13, a woman reported the meeting to police, asking for an investigation into the church. Police passed the information to the city’s religious affairs bureau.

Orlov was summoned by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Almaz Zhanamanov booked him under Article 490. Part 3 of the Administrative Code (“missionary activities. Without state registration (or re-registration), as well as the use by. Missionaries of religious literature, information Lead Generation Telemarketing materials. With religious content or religious objects without a positive. Assessment analyzed by experts in religious studies, as well as the dissemination of the teachings of religious groups not registered in Kazakhstan”).

Orlov insisted that the authorities had no grounds to bring charges against him.

When asked why he had a criminal record drawn up, Zanamanov declined to explain. “For all issues, you should apply officially to the department,” he told Forum 18 on April 5.

Orlov attempted to challenge the criminal record. However, Judge Galia Kasimova of the Almaty Interregional Specialized Administrative Court dismissed his lawsuit on April 19, according to a ruling DLBDFY seen by. Forum 18.Part of the GD’s power consolidation will come thanks to major legislative changes that will take place in the fall of 2024. The president, who until now has been directly elected through popular votes, will now be appointed by parliament.

This means that outgoing President Salome Zurabishvili will no longer play the role of a check on the GD’s anti-democratic and anti-Western policies. So far, she has vetoed multiple problematic bills and pardoned dozens of political prisoners, including Nika Gvaramia, the former head of the Mtavari opposition

TV channel, and Lazare Grigoriadis, an LGBTQ rights activist. On the international stage, President Zurabishvili has also served as an emissary of the Georgian people’s firm pro-Ukrainian stance, much to the chagrin of the Georgian prime minister. This also stands in stark contrast to the anti-Ukrainian stance of the

 

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