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Invitation to an online event: “Addressing human rights abuses in Kazakhstan: a need for the EU response”

The Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) is pleased to invite you to an online event “Addressing human rights abuses in Kazakhstan: a need for the EU response” co-hosted by MEP Petras Auštrevičius (Renew Europe; Lithuania) in cooperation with ODF.

The event will be live-streamed on Thursday, 25 March 202114:00 – 15:30 CET / Brussels time, and will feature interventions of human rights defenders from Kazakhstan, EU representatives, academics and journalists. During the event, the panelists will analyse the ongoing human rights violations in Kazakhstan, the European Parliament urgent resolution of 11 February 2021 and the impact it had on the Kazakh government and the civil society on the ground.The event will be live-streamed at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/PetroAustreviciausbiuras

Background

As Kazakhstan tightens its grip on human rights advocates and dissenting voices, civil society on the ground continues to appeal to the international community in order to make their voices heard. The European Parliament resolution of 11 February 2021 on the human rights situation in the country condemned the ongoing abuses in the strongest terms, urging the government of Kazakhstan to respect its human rights obligations, as set out in the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU. 

With the number of political prisoners on the rise and the total ban of opposition movements, EU-Kazakhstan relations are under close scrutiny. Despite the government’s announcement to make Kazakhstan “a listening state” – eager to listen to the needs of its citizens – and to advance political and human rights reforms, sustainable progress has not yet been achieved. High-profile cases of political killings remain uninvestigated, restrictions on peaceful assembly continue to take place, while human rights groups, lawyers, journalists and civil society activists face increasing pressure and retaliation. 

The discussion will analyse the human rights situation in Kazakhstan, the European Parliament resolution of 11 February 2021 and the impact it had on the Kazakh government and the local civil society. The participating human rights defenders and experts will provide updated information about the human rights violations in Kazakhstan and the government’s policy in this regard. 

Agenda

14:00 – 14:10 Opening remarks by MEP Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Subcommittee on Human Rights 

14:10 – 15:20 Discussion with human rights defenders and experts followed by Q&A 

Moderator: 

  • Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation 

Speakers:

  • Ambassador Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia 
  • Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Human rights defender and director of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law
  • Anna Shukeyeva, Human rights defender and member of the human rights movement “405”
  • Bota Jardemalie, Lawyer and human rights defender, sister of former Kazakhstani political prisoner Iskander Yerimbetov
  • Rosalba Castelletti, Journalist at “La Repubblica”
  • Dr Luca Anceschi, Senior Lecturer in Central Asian Studies at the University of Glasgow 

15:20 – 15:30 Closing remarks by MEP Petras Auštrevičius

Working language: English. 

Participants can pose their questions in writing during the discussion. Also, questions can be sent in advance to the following email: [email protected]