Sadykov, Aidos

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Aidos Sadykov is an  opposition activist  and journalist  who wrote for the newspaper "Respublika" and "Assandi Times" (Radio Free Europe, 2015. Savchenko).

He together with his wife, Natalya Sadykova, published materials critical of the Kazakh authorities on inconvenient topics such as: The problems of extremism and terrorism; social problems of oil industry workers in the Aktobe region; corruption scandals; conflicts between regional elites (including the possible involvement of the former head of the Presidential Administration Aslan Musin in the deterioration of the criminal situation and destabilization of the situation in the western regions of Kazakhstan). Aidos Sadykov covered the high-profile case of Vladislav Chelakh, as well as politically motivated trials in the case of oil workers Zhanaozen and opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov (Savchenko, 2014).

In 2002, Aidos Sadykov became a member of the opposition party ‘Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan’, which defended the ideals of ​​decentralisation of power, the fight against corruption and protection of human rights. In 2005, Aidos became the head of the Aktobe branch of a new opposition party ‘Nastoyashchiy Ak Zhol’ [‘The True Ak Zhol’] (later, the party merged with the National Social Democratic Party (NSDP) and was named the NSDP ‘Azat’) (Savchenko, 2014).

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

Aidos and Natalya Sadykov were  persecuted in their homeland due to their journalistic activities. They were forced to leave Kazakhstan, as Natalia faced imprisonment for libel.

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   not Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2010.
Violence experienced: .

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

The Kazakh authorities have instituted several criminal cases against Aidos Sadykov, and even forced him to submit to involuntary psychiatric treatment (Savchenko, 2014).

In 2018 Sadykov has been threatened by two men who claimed to be police officers at his home in Kiev. (ATR, 2018).

The Sadykov family noted that in recent years they have constantly been shadowed, with even their telephones being tapped in Kazakhstan. In March 2010, Natalia addressed international human rights organisations, the OSCE and the European Parliament, stating that the continuous threats directed at her are, according to her, masterminded by the leadership of the Aktobe Province (Savchenko, 2014)

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

In August 2003, following the publication of journalistic investigations critical of the authorities, a criminal case was started against Aidos Sadykov (Savchenko, 2014).

In 2010, he spent nearly two years in a penal colony, having been convicted on charges which human rights defenders recognised as politically motivated (Savchenko, 2014)

Sadykov was found guilty in July 2010 of hooliganism and resisting police and sentenced to two years in jail. That verdict was upheld in August 2010 by a court in Aqtobe Oblast. Sadykov pleaded not guilty and insists his case is politically motivated. He says local officials in Aqtobe fabricated the case against him in retaliation for his open criticism of the regional government ( Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2011). In April 2012, Aidos Sadykov was amnestied and released from prison after serving 1 year and 9 months (Savchenko, 2014).

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

On 5 March, 2014, the Court No. 2 in Aktobe opened a criminal case against Natalia Sadykova under Article 129, section 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (‘Slander, connected with accusations of corruption, or committing a grave or especially grave crime’) (Savchenko, 2014).

International arrest warrant: .

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

Current status:

They are both currently exiled in Ukraine (Savchenko, 2014).

Press sources:

Radio Free Europe, 2015. 'Kazakh Activist Detained After Expressing Solidarity With Closed Magazine'. Feb 06.2015. [Online]. Available at:


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2011. 'Jailed Kazakh activist's request for early release rejected', October 19,  2011. [Online]. Available at:


Savchenko, I. 2014. 'Journalists request Ukraine and the European Union’s protection from the oppression of Kazakh authorities'. Open Dialog. April. 01, 2014. [Online]. Available at:,journalists-request-ukraine-and-the-european-union-s-protection-from-the-oppression-of-kazakh-authorities


ATR (2018) Kazakh oppositionist Aidos Sadykov was threatened in Kiev. [online] Available at:[Accessed 4 Feb. 2019].