How to act when stopped by the Kazakhstan police officers

Over the last few quarantine months many foreigners have contacted us asking as to how to act when stopped by the Kazakhstan police


Therefore, my colleague Mr Abzal Kassymzhanov and I prepared some key instructions on how to act when stopped by the Kazakhstan police officers and protect your legal rights. We believe the instructions might be helpful and interesting for foreigners so that they do not experience a huge culture shock in Kazakhstan.

  1. Be polite. This may prevent you from having tense relations with the police. Please show your ID documents, if asked.

  1. In case you know the reason you are being stopped and you clearly understand the police is going to execute an administrative offense protocol and you are about to be detained by the police, please ask the police officers to show you their official ID and introduce them to you. Please write down those details.

  1. Please listen attentively to what the police officers tell you. Avoid being too worried and act accordingly. Please note that your behavior may either help you or cause problems. This is why you should know how to protect your legal rights. Even your resistance to the police misconduct may held you liable in particular cases, including, but not limited to criminal charge.

  1. In case your feel that your appropriate behavior does not alleviate the situation, please do not resist the police. There might be misconduct by the police and you can prove it later on.

  1. Here is a list of key violations you should specify clearly in the administrative detention protocol. Please do not simply tell the police about them, but rather specify them all in writing:

  • specify that you need an attorney;

  • specify that you do not agree with the protocol and you will present your arguments in court later on;

  • specify that you need the protocol in Kazakh, in case you do not speak Russian or vice versa;

  • specify that you need an interpreter, in case you do not speak the language the protocol is prepared in;

  • ask the police to explain your rights to you. In case the police fail to do so, please specify that in the protocol;

  • specify your objections, in case you are not being detained by the police. You should contact an administrative court to know a judge’s name. You can file your objections to the judge online using E-gov keys before the court hearing, or alternatively, you may submit your objections during the court hearing.

  1. The above given key instructions are important to fight against the police misconduct and protect your legal rights.

Tair Nazkhanov, Attorney, LLM

Abzal Kassymzhanov, Attorney, LLM

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