Six weeks after a judge sentenced Yklas Kabduakasov to seven years’ house arrest for his Christian activities, he was rearrested and sent to a labour camp.
Yklas, a former Muslim, was first arrested in August 2015; he spent 12 weeks in prison before receiving a sentence of seven years under house arrest. The 54-year-old father of eight sought for a full acquittal, stating that he had not insulted Islam nor “incited religious hatred.” But on 28 December 2015, a court changed his sentence to two years’ imprisonment in a labour camp nearly 450km from his home.
The prosecution relied on evidence that was collected by Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee (KNB) secret police, who monitored his activities for over a year. They gathered secret recordings of conversations Yklas has with four university students, with whom he met to study the Bible. Additionally, KNB secret police raided his home and seized religious books.
At trial, prosecution experts testified that the Christian convert was insulting Islam as well as inciting violence against Muslims. Prosecutors also claimed that Yklas had attempted to force his subordinates at work to become Christians.
Since his transfer to the labour camp, Yklas is reportedly thinner. His lawyer told Forum 18 that Yklas remains in good spirits and has no complaints about his treatment. He and his lawyer are preparing a final appeal to Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court.
Sources: The Voice of the Martyrs USA, Forum 18 News Service
• Pray Yklas and his legal representatives may be granted wisdom as they prepare for the appeal and that they would not be apprehensive; may they rely on the Lord to give them the right words. Pray for a favourable outcome.
• Thank the Lord for Yklas’ love and faithfulness to Him; pray the Lord may encourage him even in prison. May Yklas see the Holy Spirit at work in his life and the lives of others in the camp.
• Ask the Lord to minister to the family members and fellow believers of Yklas; may they be spurred on by his testimony and example.