On 30 July, Roberto Rampi, Member of the Italian Senate, together with Riccardo Magi and Mauro Del Barba, Members of the Chamber of Deputies, sent a letter to Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Italy, H.E. Sembayev Yerbolat, demanding an online meeting with political prisoner Bekizhan Mendygaziev.
In the letter the Italian representatives have expressed their concern for Mr Mendygaziyev’s conditions, recalling his serious illnesses and the dangers he faces being left in prison without proper healthcare, as well as the overtly political nature of his detention.
Mr Bekizhan Mendygaziyev is the brother of Barlyk Mendygaziyev, a Kazakhstani entrepreneur and philanthropist, known for his financial support of human rights activists and families of political prisoners. Mr Barlyk Mendygaziyev, now living in the US, has long been at odds with Kazakhstan’s authorities, who sought to take over his businesses, silence him through trumped-up charges and blackmail him by going after his family and associates.
The difficult situation of Barlyk Mendygaziyev’s associates was also mentioned. Mr Baurzhan Jussupov, Mrs Nataliya Dauletiyarova and Mr Rinat Batkayev, working for Mr Mendygaziyev’s former company “Karachaganak Support Services” (KSS) were sentenced to several years in prison over fabricated accusations. Mr Jussupov, director, was given 5 and a half years, Ms Dauletiyarova, contractor, 7 years, and Mr Batkayev, Dauletiyarova’s assistant, was given 5 years. Ms Dauletiyarova, who was subjected to inhumane treatment to force her to deliver a false confession, was given the longest sentence as a punishment and a sign to others.
The Italian representatives reminded the Kazakhstani ambassador of Kazakhstan’s obligations under international law, in particular the EU Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, as well as the European Parliament’s call for an end to political persecution against Barlyk Mendygaziyev, expressed in an urgent resolution of 11 February 2021.
The signatories of the letter demanded a video call with Mr Mendygaziyev to ascertain his conditions in terms of health and treatment in prison, as well as the immediate release of Mr Mendygaziyev and all the KSS employees.
Read more on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan:
- “Authoritarian countermeasures to targeted sanctions” – an online discussion with HRDs & MEPs (12 July 2021)
- MEPs call on Kazakhstan to cease persecution of Barlyk Mendygaziyev (12 July 2021)
- Political Persecution of Barlyk Mendygaziyev (14 July 2021)
- Human rights abuses in Kazakhstan: a need for the EU response – online discussion with Petras Austrevicius (21 May 2021)
- Women’s rights in Kazakhstan. ODF at the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting 2021 (9 March 2021)
- Kazakhstan: the EP’s new resolution urges for sanctions against human rights violators (5 March 2021)
- European Parliament resolution of 11 February 2021 on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan (11 February 2021)
- “Voices of Kazakhstan”, issue #1, #2, #3, #4: pre and post-election review of the human rights situation in Kazakhstan (December 2020 – January 2021)
- Kazakhstan’s Kafkaesque dictatorship: the authorities “playing rodeo” with its critics (24 December 2020)
- Oppositionist Therefore Extremist: Political killings and persecutions of opposition and human rights activists before the parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan (1 December 2020)
- ODF’s report “Servants of the regime: sanction list of persons accountable for gross human rights violations in Kazakhstan (20 October 2020)