Obschestvennaya Nagrada profit organisation, which has been selling orders instituted by it to rich Kazakstanis for several years, has involved a specialist to give them out. According to the investigation held by Nasha Gazeta, it is a general of CIPDH, an entity that has been long known for fake diplomats.
Artyom Marusich — a participant of the CABAR.asia School of Analytic Journalism. The original investigation is published on the website of regional portal of Nasha Gazeta
A Kostanai-based entrepreneur, Aleksei Ivaschenko, has received invitations to the ceremony of awarding the public order “Honorary citizen of Kazakstan” many times. Aleksei has been invited as a nominee. Also, the invitation contained prices. The order can be given in person for 1,750,000 tenge, and in absentia for 1,250,000 tenge.
“I receive letters from Obschestvennaya Nagrada every month”, Aleksei said. “They allegedly award certificates of merit and some medallions that cost a lot. They declare openly that a head of KNB department for Karaganda region and a president of the National Agri-Industrial Chamber of Kazakstan have attended their recent ceremonies”.
In fact, the press release about the third ceremony of awarding the Order “Honorary citizen of Kazakstan” on July 7, 2018, Massimov Kazhimkan Kassymovich and the head of the KNB department of Karaganda region, Beisekov Serik Sagymbaevich were named as participants of the event and holders of the order. However, we have found out easily that that the head of the KNB department for Karaganda region is another person since 2017. Beisekov has attended the event as the head of AlbaStroiDor LLP.
Kazhimkan Kassimov has also been present on the photo. As he received the order “Honorary citizen of Kazakstan” back in 2016, this time Massimov has been awarded the order “Honorary citizen of the Eurasian union of states”.
However, we’ve been interested not in Massimov, but in a person who has given him the award. We could recognise the uniform he was wearing only after we visited the website of the organisation selling the orders and saw the CIPDH patch. His name was on the list of 23 CIPDH representatives in Kazakstan. Apparently, it was not the first time that Shakhim Nasibov was invited to hand over the order. For example, the website of republican state institution “National Archives of the Republic of Kazakhstan” published the news item on July 3, 2017 about the handover of the international order “Golden Eagle” INTERSAFETY to the director of archives Zhangeldi Makhashov by Nasibov.
The official page of RSI NARK on Facebook said that Nasibov has handed over the medals “Batyr Shapagaty” and letters of appreciation to the guardians of the people’s memory on behalf of the Mazhilis deputy, Halyk-kaharmany (People’s Hero), Lieutenant General Bakhytzhan Yertayev.
Where is CIPDH and where is UN?
A little bit of history. In autumn 2016, cars with license plates confusingly similar to the UN vehicles were seen in Almaty. Then Kazakstan media wrote that local police checked the car and the driver was punished for installing a fake license plate. The plate contained the letters UN followed by a logo of the French organisation CIPDH – Comité international pour la protection des droits de l’homme (International Human Rights Defence Committee).
It seems that the point of CIPDH is its similarity to someone else. They could be easily confused with the Spanish CIPDH-UNESCO (International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights), and with the French CNCDH (National Consultative Commission on Human Rights).
However, the punishment and media frenzy have not scared the members of the organisation. In 2017, the media reported the next CIPDH SUV with symbols, fake UN license plates and a special signal. This time an administrative protocol was drawn up and the driver was fined under two articles of the Administrative Code for 68,000 tenge. And in 2018, it turned out that an eye-catching uniform accompanies the eye-catching license plates in CIPDH (see photo).
During the 2016 scandal over the fake license plates in Almaty, the UN representative office in Kazakstan reported that it had nothing to do with the vehicles having the CIPDH license plates.
A vehicle in Almaty with fake license plates. Photo: motor.kz
A vehicle in Erevan with original UN license plates. Photo: Artyom Marusich
We have tried to figure out what kind of generals attend banquets in Kazakstan and requested information from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakstan about the status of the organisation, which, according to the patch, has such an eye-catching uniform.
“The International Human Rights Defence Committee (CIPDH – Comité international pour la protection des droits de l’homme) is a private organisation that has nothing to do with the UN,” Lieutenant General Talgat Mukhtarov, deputy minister of defence of the Republic of Kazakstan, specified in his reply to Nasha Gazeta.
How much is the glory
However, the members of CIPDH don’t seem to agree with that. Their website specifies Aben (Abdiali) Nurmanov as the director of the representative office of the International Human Rights Defence Committee in Kazakstan. On its website, the Abai Kazak National Teachers University presents Nurmanov as Major-General, a president of the representative office of the Association “International Human Rights Defence Committee” at the UN in the Republic of Kazakstan.
According to information from the website of the National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan, he is an honorary worker of education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an honorary professor at higher educational institutions of China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, academician of the A. Einstein International Academy of Energy, the M. Nostradamus International Academy of Psychology and Parapsychology, Educational Academy of the Russian Federation. He has been awarded the B.Momyshuly honorary badge “Otan Korgaushyga”, Order of M. Lomonosov (for merits in science) of the Russian Federation, medal “N.V. Gogol” (for merits in education) of the Russian Federation, the international gold medal “Mustafa Kemal Ataturk”, the gold medal “Heydar Aliyev” (Azerbaijan), the charity medal “Red Cross” (UK), the medal “King Albert Walchshtein” (Czech Republic ). The TV and radio company “Manas zhangyrygy – Ekho Manasa” (Kyrgyzstan) has awarded the title of “Gasyr Adamy” (man of the century) to him.
Yulia Nauman, the head of the press service and quality inspector of CIPDH, is also referred to as the UN representative on the website of the department of education of Pavlodar region in the article about her visit to a family-type children’s village. Anvar Niyozov, vice president of CIPDH, was also referred to as the UN representative in 2012 on the website of the Akimat of Uralsk. It’s interesting that back in 2014 he handed over the Order of the Crescent and the Stars to Mirash Tashetov, a resident of Arkalyk.
Love for pricy trinkets is certainly funny, yet extremely private. The trouble is when an organisation that proudly calls itself as human rights defenders is doing business on this. And it’s a double trouble when there’s no one in the country to stop this business and sort out the mess.
This article was prepared as part of the Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes Project implemented with the financial support of the Foreign Ministry of Norway. The opinions expressed in the article do not reflect the position of the editorial or donor.