World Liberty Congress Condemns Kazakhstan’s Brutal Assassination Attempt on Opposition Journalist

The World Liberty Congress stands in unwavering support and solidarity with Aidos Sadykov, a Kazakh opposition journalist and political refugee in Ukraine, and his family during these harrowing times following the appalling assassination attempt on Aidos Sadykov.

On June 18, 2024, in Kyiv, the regime of Kazakhstan orchestrated a brutal attack on Aidos Sadykov. The assassin shot Aidos in the head in broad daylight, in full view of his wife Nataliya Sadykova, as they arrived at their home. As of today, Aidos remains in critical condition, fighting for his life after a head surgery. Ukrainian police identified two suspects, Kazakh nationals, who fled Ukraine to Kazakhstan through the Moldovan border on the same day.

Nataliya Sadykova, who is also a well-known Kazakh opposition journalist and political refugee in Ukraine, immediately named the orchestrator of this political assassination attempt as the president of Kazakhstan, Kossym-Zhomart Tokayev. She revealed that their family had been subjected to serious threats for their outspoken criticism of Tokayev. Just before the attack, Aidos Sadykov had released a video statement denouncing Tokayev as a “puppet of Putin.”

The regime in Kazakhstan is notorious not only for persecuting activists domestically but also for its transnational repression, for which it has escaped international accountability for years. The regime orchestrated the kidnapping from Italy of the wife and six-year-old daughter of political opponent Mukhtar Ablyazov, attempted to kidnap human rights defender Bota Jardemalie from Belgium, organized an attack and beating of members of the opposition movement Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan in Kyiv, and arranged the severe beating of political refugee Zamanbek Tleuliyev in Vilnius.

The World Liberty Congress unequivocally condemns this egregious act of transnational repression and calls on the international community to hold the authorities of Kazakhstan accountable for their actions. We must unite against such brazen acts and ensure the protection and safety of journalists and political refugees everywhere. 

It is imperative that the global community implements tougher measures, including targeted sanctions and diplomatic actions, to deter and punish the perpetrators of such heinous crimes. Only through decisive action can we hope to put an end to this cycle of violence and intimidation.

We are building the Congress as a legitimate and democratic institution with shared principles and mission, representation of all countries under autocratic regimes and clear governance structure.
The Congress will meet every year for the annual General Assembly with the intention to become an alternative voice to autocratic regimes.