Ketebaev, Muratbek

Husband of Irina Petrushova, from the newspaper "Respublika" (Big News Network, 2015).

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Ketebaev, a co-founder of the Kazakh opposition party Alga, fled Kazakhstan in 2011 amid rising pressure on government critics (Radio Free Europe, 2014).

Ketebaev is also a former associate of Mukhtar Ablyazov (Radio Free Europe, 2014).

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)
Alleged affiliation: Alga.

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   not Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2013.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests):

In 2017 Ketebaev has been sued by Kazakhstan for hacking and leaking government Emails in concert with others. This lawsuit has been filed at a US court in Northern California (Renda, M., 2017).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

The Kazakh government charged Ketebaev in absentia with ties to the 2011 Zhanaozen riots and a planned terror attack in Almaty the following year (Radio Free Europe, 2014).

Ketebaev was arrested on an Interpol warrant in the Polish town of Lublin in June 2013. Acknowledging the political nature of the case, Polish officials quickly released him and moved to block his extradition. By December, Ketebaev had received political refugee status and appeared safe from further potential persecution (Radio Free Europe, 2014). Ketebaev was also arrested on the 27th December 2004, in a Madrid hotel on an Interpol warrant issued at the request of the Kazakh government, but was later released (Radio Free Europe, 2014; Open Dialogue, 2015).

Other actions during Stages 1–3 (dispossession/ overseas assets frozen/ intimidation/ action against associates/ …):

The charges also targeted Ketebaev's former associate Mukhtar Ablyazov, who had angered Nazarbaev by investing heavily in opposition media, including "Respublika," with the aim of unseating the regime (Radio Free Europe, 2014).

His ally Vladimir Kozlov, with whom Ketebaev had founded the opposition party Alga, was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail on the same charges; he is currently being held in a penal colony outside Almaty (Radio Free Europe, 2014).

International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: , .

Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident):

Ketebaev was granted refugee status in Poland, 2013 (Radion Free Europe, 2014).

Current status:

Self-imposed exile in Warsaw  2014 (Radio Free Europe, 2014).


Press sources:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty," Spanish court approves arrest of Kazakh opposition figure", 29 December 2014, [Online].Available at:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, ‘For Exiled Activist, Kazakhstan Is Out Of Sight, But Never Out Of Mind’, 22nd June 2014.[Online]. Available at:

Open Dialogue, "Муратбек Кетебаев покинул Испанию и вернулся в Польшу. Испания отклонила запрос об экстрадиции, направленный Казахстаном". 13th March, 2015.[Online]. Available at:,muratbek-ketebaev-pokinul-ispaniyu-i-vernulsya-v-polshu-ispaniya-otklonila-zapros-ob-ekstradicii-napravlennyy-kazahstanom

Big News Network, "Kazakh Opposition Figure Released From Detention In Spain". 16th January, 2015.[Online]. Available at:


Renda, M., (2017) Kazakhstan Sues Critic Over Email Leak. Available at:[Accessed 4 Feb. 2019].