Kazakhstan increases punishments for state of emergency violations
Strict compliance with quarantine measures is a vital necessity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Kazakh authorities continue urging people to stay at home and self-isolate. According to the Kazakh Healthcare Ministry, the novel coronavirus outbreak is spreading fast in the country and Kazakhstan has entered the peak of new COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, the residents of the cities with the strict quarantine hardly want to follow the isolation regime. People are allowed leaving their homes only to go to the pharmacy, grocery store or a hospital. However, many people ignore the quarantine laws. The current warm weather seduces people to spend some time outside. Moms with their children walk around the streets and young people go outside to lounge on benches. Many of them react aggressively when the law enforcement officers ask them to go back home. The prosecutors have already recorded thousands of similar cases involving violators of the state of emergency.
Thus, two men with a baby carriage did not only disobey the police patrol, but also posted a video recording of their conflict on social media. As it turned out later, it was a misinformation as the video was taken out of context. After watching the full video, it becomes obvious that it was the violators themselves who provoked the brawl, physically assaulted and insulted the law enforcement officers. Their actions were qualified under two criminal articles. The mother of the child will also be punished.
Meanwhile, the General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan increased the punishments for some violations during the state of emergency in the country. For example, if the dissemination of false information at ordinary times can result in a fine, community service or imprisonment of up to five years, then during the state of emergency the punishment will be harsher – imprisonment from three to seven years. For insubordination against a lawful police instruction or request, the violator can face a fine of up to 2,000 monthly calculation indexes (MCI), equivalent of 5,556,000 Tenge (US$13,000) or up to 600 hours of community service or up to two years in jail. If a violator uses violence towards the police officers during the state of emergency, he may get seven to 12 years in prison. The attempt on the life of a law enforcement officer, including the police officer and a reservist, can be punished by a life imprisonment. Previously, the highest punishment for this violation was 15 years of imprisonment.
In addition, the General Prosecutor’s Office announced the punishments for the obstruction of organizations’ work during the state of emergency. The violator can face a fine of up to 2,000 MCI or up to 600 hours of community service or up to two years in jail.
The fine for violating the state of emergency is the most widespread these days. Those, who are disobeying the quarantine laws and don’t stay at home, will face a fine of nearly 28,000 Tenge (US$66) or get arrested for 15 days. The same punishment will be applied for violating the entry/exit rules from the cities and regions of the country, as well as holding rallies and strikes, or sports and other public events during the state of emergency.
The SMEs representatives will also be punished for failure to comply with law requirements and acts and will be fined for up to 500 MCI, equivalent of 138,900 Tenge ($US325). This applies to businesses and non-profit organizations. A fine of 2,000 MCI will be charged for violating sanitary standards that would harm human health.