Kazakhstan Considers Reopening Case Of Man’s Death After Police Custody

PETROPAVL, Kazakhstan — Authorities in the northern Kazakh city of Petropavl have reportedly started the process of reopening a case into the alleged killing of a 25-year-old man by police in 2017.

Anatoly Reibant’s mother, who has been on a hunger strike for 19 days demanding justice, told RFE/RL that officials on August 13 handed her a letter saying that the regional prosecutor’s office had requested the Prosecutor-General’s Office in Nur-Sultan, the capital, reopen the case.

Reibant, a father of two, died weeks after he sustained multiple facial fractures while in police custody.

His parents say he died after he was severely beaten by several police officers, while a court has ruled it a suicide.

The mother, Irina Reibant, started a hunger strike on July 25, four days after local law enforcement officials rejected a request to reopen the case of his death.

Police brutality in the tightly controlled Central Asian state has been an issue for decades.

The 61-year-old mother told RFE/RL that physicians who accompanied the officials at her home recommended she stop the hunger strike.

“I refused to stop the hunger strike, saying to them that I will continue it until the case is returned to a court and those responsible for my son’s death are convicted,” Reibant said.

She added that officials promised to grant her husband, who has a cancer condition, disability status and to provide him with an additional annual financial allowance.