Kazakh diplomat recalled from UAE after wife accuses him of a decade of domestic abuse

The wife of a Kazakh diplomat stationed in the United Arab Emirates accused her husband of a decade of violent abuse on Monday, according to Kazakh human rights organisation, which means “don’t be silent” in Russian.

According to Karina Mamash, who released a video in which her visibly beaten face can be seen on multiple occasions, her husband Saken Mamash, a secretary at the Kazakh embassy in the UAE, has regularly beaten her for over 10 years, and on Sunday even used force on her sister. Mamash said that she feared for herself and her children, all of whom she described as being “in danger around him”.

“I have been subjected to violence for 10 years. I want my husband to be stripped of his diplomatic status and put in jail for all the abuse he has subjected me to,” she said, adding that the abuse had run the gauntlet from physical and sexual to psychological and economic abuse.

The diplomat has been recalled to Astana and “his case will now be dealt with by law enforcement agencies”, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to independent Kazakh news outlet

In April, Kazakhstan passed a law criminalising domestic violence for the first time, as the country watched the high-profile trial of Kazakhstan’s former National Economy Minister, Quandyq Bishimbaev, who was accused of brutally murdering his wife.

According to the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office, an average of 300 women go to the police in Kazakhstan daily after being beaten by their husbands, and in 2023, some 69 women died at the hands of their spouses.

The law, which remains weak by Western standards, provides for harsher penalties for violence against women and children. The intentional infliction of minor harm to health or battery can now result in a custodial sentence of up to 50 days, a fine of up to €1,400, or community service.

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