International seminar presents manuals for rehabilitating radicalised Kazakhs



A Kazakh specialist rehabilitates Kazakhs evacuated from Syria in Mangystau Province in a screenshot from a KNB video.

NUR-SULTAN -- The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Friday (November 22) hosted a seminar in Nur-Sultan to present manuals for the rehabilitation of radicalised Kazakhs returning from foreign conflict zones.

The manuals were developed with the support of the OSCE, Penal Reform International (PRI) in Central Asia and the UK government.

About 30 officials from the Anti-Terrorism Centre of the National Security Committee (KNB) and the Committee on Child Protection of the Ministry of Education and Science discussed methods and practices for rehabilitating returnees.

Topics included methods for determining risks and needs of working with women and children evacuated from conflict zones, as well as rehabilitation programmes for foreign fighters and their families.

The seminar was part of the OSCE's long-term support to projects that counter violent extremism and radicalisation.

A total of 277 adults -- 57 men and 220 women -- as well as 547 minors have returned home from Syria and Iraq since the collapse of the "Islamic State" (IS) as part of Operation Jusan (Bitter Wormwood) and other repatriations, according to the KNB.

Among those who returned, 44 defendants including 10 women have received prison sentences ranging from 1 to 11 years on charges such as participation in the activities of terrorist organisations, foreign wars, terrorism propaganda, recruitment and other terrorist activities.

US State Department Co-ordinator for Counterterrorism and Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, during talks with senior government officials on October 7-8 in Nur-Sultan, praised "Kazakhstan's groundbreaking rehabilitating and reintegrating returnees, and the country's constructive efforts to share its experiences in the C5+1 format and in other multilateral fora".

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