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Mogherini replies to the appeal from MEPs on Kazakh dissidents

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, replied to a letter from MEPs of the progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) at the European Parliament concerning mass-scale abuse of the system of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) by Kazakh authorities. 

In the letter, Ana Gomes from Portugal and Marju Lauristin from Estonia mentioned, amongst other things, the cases of two Kazakh dissidents, Mukhtar Ablyazov in France and Muratbek Ketebayev in Spain, who were arrested under politically-motivated requests made to Interpol by Kazakhstan’s authorities and other authorities collaborating with them, for instance Russian.

In her reply, Mogherini argues that she is familiar with the development of the Kazakh oppositionists’ cases. In these matters, the European External Action Service had earlier replied to questions from MEPs. At the same time, the High Representative emphasised that extradition decisions are within the powers of EU Member States and are regulated by their national laws and international agreements. She assured, however, that the EU would continue to look into human rights in Kazakhstan and use every opportunity to encourage the authorities there to respect their international obligations. 

At the same time, Mogherini called for further dialogue in this matter with the European Parliament, in particular, within the Delegation to the EU-Kazakhstan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.