On 15 December 2020, The Open Dialogue Foundation signed a joint statement together with 10 other NGOs demanding relevant bodies of the EU to examine the current situation in Turkey in the context of the Global Human Rights Sanction regime and to impose sanctions on those who violate human rights in the country. The Arrested Lawyers Initiative, a volunteer organisation defending prosecuted lawyers and human rights defenders, initiated the joint statement.
With the parliamentary election in Kazakhstan looming large, the authorities are trying to ruthlessly silence any voice of dissent. Since June 2020, we have observed a significant deterioration of the human rights situation in the country – the latest figures show at least 28 political prisoners and 95 cases of ongoing political persecutions. Now, just a month before the January 10 elections, the regime is using Chinese technology to attempt to cut the citizens off from the internet and social networks, which provide the only alternate source of reliable information and the only channel through which citizens can report electoral fraud. Simultaneously, the Central Election Commission has just imposed further draconian restrictions on election observers’ rights that amount to a de facto ban on their participation altogether. The authorities also rushed to ban online donations for NGOs. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan plays a deceptive game with the international community by inviting – to only a limited number of polling stations – ODIHR international observers.
Over the last 2.5 years, the authorities of Kazakhstan have arbitrarily detained over 7,000 peaceful protesters, which is an unprecedented amount in the history of the country. The police used excessive force, including pain grips and asphyxiating techniques. During interrogations, detainees are asked about their support for the opposition movements “Koshe Partiyasy” and DCK, and asked to publicly refuse to support Mukhtar Ablyazov, leader of DCK, the main opponent of the Kazakhstani regime.
On 12 November 2020, the FightBack legal self-help chat-bot was presented in Kyiv, which was designed to provide free assistance to victims of law enforcement agencies’ inaction and to collect information about the cases of inaction. The chat-bot was created as a result of a series of interviews with activists who were victims of violent attacks in different regions of Ukraine after 2014.
In authoritarian Kazakhstan, civil society representatives are subjected to arbitrary detention, criminal prosecution, imprisonment and torture for public and human rights activities, participation in peaceful protests and criticism of the authorities through social networks.
We are very proud to see our input included in the UN Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán. The report focuses on the disciplinary proceedings against judges for alleged misconduct in the exercise of their functions. It also covers “disguised” sanctions imposed on judges with the aim […]
Since 2010, the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) has been monitoring the human rights situation in Kazakhstan, partnering up with foreign missions on the ground – including the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan – to ensure a continuous dialogue with civil society on serious human rights concerns in the country. However, in sharp contrast with our experience in reaching out to the EU Delegations to Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, we regret to notice that, starting from 2018, the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan – and particularly Mr Zoltan Szalai, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation – has shown reticence in engaging in high profile cases and as well as cooperation with the Foundation, its partner NGOs and volunteers on the ground. Below we summarise the debunking of the most common arguments which have been used against the Foundation to discredit its human rights work.
List of persons to be subjected to sanctions regarding the case of Dulat Agadil. 1. Introduction Dulat Agadil is a well-known human rights activist and blogger who lived in the village of Talapker near Nur-Sultan (Astana). Dulat Agadil was one of the most famous leaders of the protest movement in Kazakhstan (especially in the Kazakh-speaking […]
The case of Daria El Zhed, a Russian opposition activist, has become one more example of political persecution against members and leaders of the Open Russia opposition movement. This movement was founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a long-time opponent of the Russian authoritarian regime. Daria El Zhed asked for political asylum in Austria. Now she may have to face extradition from Austria to Russia, where she will be tortured and subject to unfair investigation and trial.
This report includes, among else, direct observations made during a human rights monitoring mission to Ukraine in the period between 16–19 March 2019. The mission was held at the invitation of representatives of Ukrainian civil society. The mission visited Odessa and Kyiv, where a number of meetings were held with civil society activists, human rights activists, experts, relatives of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, political refugees, Ukrainian officials, and diplomats accredited in the country. In addition to the meetings, the mission participants monitored a peaceful protest in Odessa on 16 March, 2019 and attended a round table in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 18 March 2019.
The coronavirus infection COVID-19 has become a challenge not only for healthcare systems, economics, social policy and public administration in most countries of the world, but also to human rights. Human rights have been especially threatened in authoritarian states, including Kazakhstan.
The coronavirus outbreak was labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. As of 22 June 2020, the WHO had reported cases of COVID-19 in more than 216 countries and more than 8,844,171 people infected worldwide.
The last five years have been a period of rapid changes on the political scene in Poland – in 2015, presidential and parliamentary elections were held, and the election campaigns often referred to the dangers of immigration, aroused fears of refugees or Islamists, and appealed to anti-Semitic and anti-Ukrainian sentiments. At the same time, Europe faced the challenge of receiving and integrating large groups of immigrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Although this process was not visible in Poland, it became a subject of lively public debate, accompanied by real government action in this field.
A prominent Kazakhstani journalist and opposition activist Zhanara Akhmetova could be illegally extradited from Ukraine to Kazakhstan at any time. According to our sources, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine is already preparing to place her under extradition arrest. On 19 May 2020, Akhmetova got a decision by the Supreme Court of Ukraine depriving her of the chance to be granted asylum. The decision was adopted in haste during the quarantine. It was also adopted without taking into account the arguments of Akhmetova’s lawyers.
ODF is a long-standing promoter and advocate of the Global Magnitsky Act. Hence, as a response to the inquiry into whether Australia should examine the use of targeted sanctions to address human rights abuses, ODF submitted its recommendations with the aim of encouraging the adoption of Magnitsky-style sanctions in the national legislation. Our submission, authored by ODF’s team, is available on the Parliament’s website, after becoming an official document of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade – Human Rights sub-committee.
This report provides an analysis of Kazakhstan’s implementation of the European Parliament Resolution of 14 March 2019 on the human rights situation in the country (2019/2610(RSP).
Despite the fact that we do not deal directly with issues related to religious freedom, we consider it to be one of the fundamental human rights. That is why we supported activists from non-governmental organisations, associated in the American group called International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable, which sent a letter to the Australian Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on the adoption of legislation comparable to the Global Magnitsky Act.
This report examines the cases of 56 victims of politically motivated criminal prosecutions in Kazakhstan. Among them, at least 16 are political prisoners who remain in prisons or pre-trial detention facilities.
Zhanara Akhmetova is a Kazakhstani journalist, one of the leaders of the opposition movement “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan” (DCK). For several years, Akhmetova and her minor son have been unsuccessfully seeking refugee status and, through this, political asylum in Ukraine.
In case of the extradition of Akhmetova, Ukraine would violate several ratified international conventions. For the new government, this case would become one of the first serious exams in the observation of the rights of refugees and extradition procedures. Will the new authorities of Ukraine pass the test in the cooperation with dictatorial regimes?
The Democratic Party of Moldova came to power in the Republic of Moldova for the first time in 2013. Over 6 years, the party and its leader Vladimir Plahotniuc managed to establish control over the key state bodies and to usurp power in the state. On 8 June 2019 a government was formed in Moldova that was headed by Maia Sandu. The objectives of the new government were proclaimed to be deoligarchisation, fighting corruption, and conducting reform of justice.
Non-governmental organisations (including the Open Dialogue Foundation) and academics specialising in issues related to the rule of law and the protection of human rights, sent an open letter to the President of the European Commission, in which they call for immediate steps to stop the rapidly growing legal chaos in Poland, including prompt submission in the European Court of Justice, of an application for interim measures in Case C-791/19 Commission v Poland, pending before the Court of Justice. The full content of the letter is presented below.
With the utmost concern we learned about the decision of the President of the Kraków District Court, Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka, dated 14 November 2019, who refused Judge Dariusz Mazur to conduct training for attorneys and undertake any additional activities until the end of 2019.
On October 1, 2019, at Kazakhstan’s mutual assistance request, Belgian police conducted a warrantless search (sic!) of Kazakh political refugee and lawyer, Botagoz Jardemalie’s apartment in Brussels. The officials seized numerous electronic devices and documents, which included privileged and confidential work relating to her advocacy as a human rights lawyer. One of the most worrying […]
In the present document, the Open Dialogue Foundation, the Italian Federation for Human Rights, the Arrested Lawyers Initiative, the Human Rights Defenders e.V. and the Kharkiv Institute for Social Research attempt to fill the gaps in the PACE report and propose recommendations with respect to improving cooperation among the member states of the Council of Europe in the sphere of extradition.
Open Dialogue Foundation and the Italian Federation for Human Rights are pleased to invite you to an event co-hosted by MEPs Nacho Sanchez Amor (S&D; Spain) and Niklas Nienaß (Greens/EFA; Germany).
This report examines the cases of 39 individuals who are currently subject to politically motivated criminal prosecution in Kazakhstan. Among them, 21 are political prisoners who remain in prisons or pre-trial detention facilities.
Iskander Yerimbetov, Kazakhstani political prisoner and the brother of political refugee Botagoz Jardemalie, has been suffering from critical health condition in a Kazakhstani detention facility. His lawyers and family members reported that his health has deteriorated to a critical state.
The Open Dialogue Foundation is proud to find itself among civic organisations from across Europe, urging EU leaders to put civic space and civil dialogue high on the EU agenda.
The Open Dialogue Foundation has managed to gather the names of 136 police officers, investigators, security officers, prosecutors and judges who participated in politically motivated prosecutions of peaceful protesters.
On 6 July 2019, rallies were planned in various cities of Kazakhstan to demand that the results of the presidential election be cancelled and Nazarbayev be deprived of power, as well as against Chinese expansion. Law enforcement agencies detained about 700 peaceful protesters in different places.
On 17 July we received a notification from the District Prosecutor’s Office of Łódź-Bałuty in Łódź about the initiation of an investigation into the infringement of tax secrecy and abuse of power to the detriment of the Open Dialogue Foundation and our related company Silk Road Biuro on 5 July 2019.
Arbitrary application of anti-terrorism laws and criminalization of using an i-message application (Bylock).
We fully sympathise with civic activist Tomasz Sikora, member of Citizens of Poland [Polish: Obywatele RP] movement, who, on 3 July 2019, was illegally sentenced to two months of community service by the District Court in Warsaw (5th Criminal Division).
According to the analysis of the Ministry of Justice, in the first half of 2018, 890 cases of hate crimes were reported to Polish law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, not all criminal acts motivated by racial, xenophobic, homophobic hatred, etc., are reported to law enforcement authorities.
Nazarbayev’s protege Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev expectedly won the presidential elections in Kazakhstan. The elections were fully controlled and constituted merely an imitation of the electoral process. A lack of trust in the election results is not only due to the lack of legislative conditions for fair
Last Friday, our Foundation‘s office received information that during a meetingbehind closed doors held on 16 April 2019, the Warsaw Administrative Court overturned the decision of the Office for Foreigners on the inclusion of Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, in SIS.
In connection with the meetings of the Parliamentary Committees for Special Services and the EU of 25 April 2019 at which the issue of our organisation, ODF, was raised, as well as numerous media attacks by Law and Justice politicians, we would like to refer to the allegations made against us.
The third seminar of the Commission “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation between Russia and Ukraine, in association with the European Union”, which took place from June 2 to 5, 2019, in the city of Caen, brought together researchers and representatives of civil society from Ukraine, Russia and EU.
We, the Ukrainian human rights and civil society organizations, have been protecting Ukrainian citizens illegally detained in Russia and the occupied Ukrainian territories of Crimea and Donbas for the past six years.
This side-event is aimed at bringing together CSOs and Members of PACE who took part in election and human rights observation missions, with the goal to discuss the current situation and attitude of the new and old ruling elites towards the challenges of the future.
On 19 March 2019, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who served as President for 30 years, resigned. According to the law, his position was taken by the head of the upper house of parliament – the Senate – Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev.
On 19.03.2019, Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned as Kazakhstan’s President. As prescribed by law, he was succeeded by the head of the upper chamber of Parliament – the Senate – Kasym-Jomart Tokayev. On 09.04.2019, Tokayev announced snap presidential elections to take place on 09.06.2019. Campaigning
On the occasion of snap Presidential election in Kazakhstan announced for June 9, the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) has listed a set of recommendations on the human rights record in Kazakhstan for the EU, OSCE PA and foreign missions on the ground.
The study constitutes part of observations made in the period 16–19 March 2019 within the framework of a human rights observation mission, during meetings with representatives of Ukrainian civil society, expert circles, Ukrainian authorities and diplomats accredited in Ukraine.
On April 21, 2019, an article, written by Carlos Alba and Jordan Ryan, was published in the Scottish edition of the Sunday Times newspaper under various titles (1, 2, 3, as well as in print with the title “British firms ‘linked to dirty money used against Putin opponents’”).
In the run-up to the extraordinary presidential election in Kazakhstan, a wave of protests has risen, demanding a fair and transparent expression of will. In many towns and cities, peaceful actions have taken place and participants have been arbitrarily detained.
Submission to the European Commission for consideration at the EU-Moldova Human Rights Dialogue
On the occasion of the PACE, 29 members from different national delegations (e.g. France, Belgium, UK, Poland, Italy etc.) and political groups signed a written declaration “Sanctions must be maintained and “Magnitsky laws” applied in response to human rights violations in the RF occupied Crimea”
During the Spring session of the PACE, 22 members signed a written declaration under the title “Magnitsky laws sanctions must be imposed in response to political prosecution in Kazakhstan” tabled by André Gattolin, the French senator and member of the French delegation to the Council of Europe
ODF, FIDU and KHISR present this Submission with recommendations within the framework of the consideration of the UPR of Kazakhstan. Over more than nine years, ODF has presented expert opinion on human rights in Kazakhstan, obtaining information from first hand and in-country experience.
Following a debate during the Plenary session of March 14, the European Parliament voted on a resolution taking stock of the human rights situation in Kazakhstan, urging national authorities to “put an end to human rights abuses and all forms of political repression”.
On 15 March 2019, it became known that the State Migration Service of Ukraine had refused to grant refugee status to an opposition blogger from Kazakhstan, Ardak Ashim. On the same day, it became known that the Ukrainian Migration Service had again refused to grant asylum to Kazakhstani opposition j
Poll results have demonstrated that Poles are the most liked nation in Ukraine, ahead of Belarussians and Canadians. Yet, we do our best to make Ukrainians stop liking us.
On 14 March 2019, in Strasbourg, MEPs voted in favour of an EU human rights sanctions regime, following a proposal by the Dutch government in November 2018 and voted unanimously by the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council in December last year. The resolution was adopted by wide majority, 447 to 70.
In February 2019, mass peaceful protests, unprecedented in their scale and nature of demands, were held in different regions of Kazakhstan. Protesters complained of poverty and corruption, demanding reforms, improvement of social security and the resignation of the President.
On 1 March 2019, the Open Dialogue Foundation received a response to a request for public information regarding contacts between Polish diplomats and their Moldovan counterparts.
In the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the consideration of the first reading of a draft law ‘On Legal Practice and Advocacy’ No. 9055 is scheduled for 28 February.
Last Tuesday, on February 19th, a group of Members of EP constituted by Ana Gomes, Barbara Lochbihler, Mady Delvaux-Stehres, Tunne Kelam, Elmar Brok, Patricia Lalonde, Brando Benifei and Julie Ward, addressed a letter to Federica Mogherini, concerning the removal of judge from office in Kazakhstan.
In international law, there is an unconditional ban on the extradition of persons to countries where they may find themselves at risk of torture and ill-treatment. Extradition requests issued on the basis of politically motivated prosecutions are also illegal.
The Aktau City Court acquitted the victim of political prosecution, Aigul Akberdiyeva, after which the Chairman of the Court, Malik Kenzhaliyev, was dismissed. Kenzhaliyev said that a special services officer tried to hit him with a car.
Following the coming to power of Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice party and its president Andrzej Duda in 2015, the state of the rule of law and democracy in Poland steadily deteriorated, as universally acknowledged by the international community, including the first ever… (read more)
On 14 February 2019, the Open Dialogue Foundation asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jacek Czaputowicz, to disclose public information on cooperation with the Moldovan authorities.
During the 2019 Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, PACE members touched upon various different issues of global interest, from problems of objectivity to media freedom and legal tools to enable the Council of Europe’s governments to adopt sanctions programmes.
Chairman of the Aktau City Court, Malik Kenzhaliyev, was removed from office after passing an acquittal in the case of Aigul Akberdiyeva. The authorities of Kazakhstan make it clear that they will immediately punish those judges who dare to issue independent decisions in politically motivated cases
In July 2018 in Strasbourg, to Europarliament deputies, Elena Semenova recounted facts of mass torture in places of confinement in Kazakhstan. Upon her return to the motherland, a criminal case was initiated against the human rights advocate for “spreading knowingly false information”.
The complaint against the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners of November 20, 2018, which upheld the previously contested decision regarding the inclusion of L.Kozlovska’s data in the SIS II list of undesirable foreigners, was submitted to the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has considered information about violations during the criminal prosecution of Iskander Yerimbetov. The UN concluded that Yerimbetov’s detention and arrest were arbitrary, and that criminal prosecution and trial were accompanied by gross violations
Lev Ponomaryov and Emil Kurbedinov were subjected to shocking cases of administrative arrest for posting on social networks. In this way, the authorities continue to apply the policy of intimidation and punishment of individuals who dare criticise the actions of the regime.
The Open Dialogue Foundation is among the organisations who joined the appeal to support the adoption of a Global Magnitsky Act at the EU level.
Representatives of the governments of all 28 EU countries gathered in the Hague in order to discuss the Netherlands’ proposal to adopt, within the EU, of a joint legal mechanism that would allow the imposition of personal sanctions on persons involved in gross violations of human rights.
The Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU) organised a human rights observer mission to Kazakhstan. A series of meetings with activists, human rights defenders, relatives of political prisoners, and former prisoners who had been subjected to torture, was conducted in the course of the mission.
On Sunday, November 25, 2018, a ship of the Border Guard Service of the Russian Federation’s Federal Security Service rammed through a Ukrainian tugboat “Yany Kapu”. Along with two small artillery boats “Berdyansk” and “Nikopol”, it was executing a planned sail from Odesa to Mariupol… (read more)
With regard to the information published in the press on Friday, 23 November 2018, the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) wishes to clarify and deny the inaccuracies, rumours and slander.
On October 4th, 2018, the ruling Moldovan Democratic Party established a parliamentary commission to investigate “Open Dialogue Foundation’s and ODF President Lyudmyla Kozlovska’s interference in the domestic affairs of the Republic of Moldova as well as it’s funding of opposition parties”.
On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president will be elected. The representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk has the greatest chances to be elected for this post.
In an attempt to prevent a reduction in the volume of foreign investment in the country’s economy, and to maintain its positive international image, the authorities of Kazakhstan are being forced to make individual concessions in the cases of political prisoners.
On 8 November 2018, the US Mission to the OSCE made an official statement on the case of Iskander Yerimbetov: “The United States is concerned by allegations of mistreatment while in custody and procedural irregularities in the trial of Kazakhstani businessman Iskander Yerimbetov”
The Open Dialogue Foundation was one of the first to join the Statement of the Coalition for the Protection of Civil Society with a demand that the management of the Kherson police, General Prosecutor of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov be dismissed from their posts.
This report is a collective complaint on behalf of 129 citizens of Kazakhstan who have fallen victim to arbitrary detention, criminal prosecution, torture, ill-treatment, threats and surveillance. All were accused of supporting the peaceful opposition movement “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan”.
ODF has recently learned of a group or individual impersonating an EU body or pro-European civic group under the name “European Union Anti Corruption”, which seems to be running a paid, targeted smear campaign against the Foundation
The sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will not be lifted. On October 9, a draft resolution that aimed to create conditions conducive to Russia’s return to this institution was rejected.
On 9 October 2018, over 150 Kazakhstani representatives of human rights organisations and Kazakhstani citizens signed an open letter to Ambassador T. Greminger, General Secretary of the OSCE, in view of his visit to Astana to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the OSCE office in Kazakhstan.
On October 10, 2018 it was announced in the media, starting with the website of a Ukrainian civic organisation/media outlet “Stop Corruption”, that the Department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in the Zakarpattya region city of Uzhhorod has initiated an investigation into ODF President.
Populists and nationalism are on the rise in many European countries. Sadly, my second homeland, Poland is not an exception but a growing concern for its citizens, residents and the international community.
Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena was de facto refused permission to leave the occupied Crimea in order to receive medical treatment at the neurosurgery and cardiology clinics.
There have been recent appeals by members of the largest parliament factions for legally enshrining the term ‘foreign agents’ in order to apply it to civic organisations and media which “directly or indirectly serve the interests of the aggressor state, i.e. the Russian Federation”.
I am here thanks to the uncompromising Members of the German Bundestag and delegates to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, our hosts who truly care about the state of the rule of law, civil liberties and human dignity in Europe.
Today’s words by W. Waszczykowski about Ukraine are significant: “We also immediately stipulated that the Three Seas Initiative applies only to EU countries. Despite Petro Poroshenko’s requests and begging, Ukraine was not invited – even as an observer.
A human rights monitoring mission took place in Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, from 26 to 28 July 2018. The mission was led by Mr Antonio Stango, President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights, and Ms Paola Gaffurini, Advocacy Officer for the Open Dialog Foundation.
Is the expulsion of the head of the Open Dialog Foundation from the EU at the request of Poland a victory for the Russian services, for the ODF having gotten under their skin? That’s what Andrzej Wielowieyski and Marcin Święcicki think.
Due to the failure to provide necessary and timely medical assistance, Kazakhstani political prisoner Muratbek Tungishbayev has lost vision in one eye. He needs urgent hospitalisation.
On Tuesday 14 August 2018, Mrs Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialog Foundation (ODF) was deported from the EU territory to Kyiv, Ukraine due to an abuse of the Schengen Information System (SIS).
Lyudmyla Kozlovska, the President of the Management Board of The Open Dialog Foundation (ODF), was prevented by the Polish authorities from entering the EU. We perceive this as another of a long series of their attacks on the Foundation
Mady Delvaux, Member of the European Parliament, who met Kazakhstani human rights defender Elena Semenova in the European Parliament in early July, demands an end to her political prosecution.
Media and human rights organisations, including the Open Dialog Foundation, have issued a joint statement, demanding from law enforcement officers, a public report on the investigation into the assassination of Pavel Sheremet.
On 20 July, 2018, in Pavlodar, three police officers detained the well-known human rights activist Elena Semenova at her home. She managed to write an SMS to her colleagues saying: “I’m being taken to the Department of Internal Affairs. They came for me” .
Ukrainian civil society members published an open letter, addressing the Ukrainian authorities and law enforcement agencies, calling to end the attacks on the Anti-Corruption Action Center and its head Vitaliy Shabunin.
On 12 July 2018, eight MEPs signed an open letter addressed to President Nazarbayev decrying the human rights situation in Kazakhstan. MEPs J. Stetina, P. Austrevicius, T. Kelam, W. Klinz, A. Gomes, H. Hautala, V. Mazuronis and J. Nart denounced the reduction of the space for civil liberties.
Civil society activists from Kazakhstan and Russia who are seeking political asylum in Ukraine, have faced secret surveillance and threats from unidentified persons. The activists claim that Kazakhstan’s special services are involved in this matter.
During the summer session of PACE, twenty-two members signed a written declaration, deploring the use of torture in detention facilities and the lack of investigation related to this systemic practice in Kazakhstan, as well as the severe violations of the right to peaceful assembly.
The right to defence is one of the fundamental human rights that is enshrined in a number of international agreements. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims the principle of equality of all before the law, the presumption of innocence, and the right to be examined openly.
On 25 June, 2018, the Kyrgyz court authorised the extradition of the well-known opposition blogger Muratbek Tungishbayev to Kazakhstan. On 26 June, 2018, late in the evening, security officers took Tungishbayev from the detention centre in an unknown direction.
Please be advised that any video recordings recently posted on the Internet allegedly involving Lyudmyla Kozlovska, associating her with Bill Browder (initiator of the Global Magnitsky Law campaign) and Mukhtar Ablyazov, (leader of the opposition movement “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan”) are fake.
The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (IOL) recently published two statements expressing its concern for Ana Ursachi and Botagoz Jardemalie, both lawyers and human rights defenders, from Moldova and Kazakhstan, respectively.
On 6 June 2018, the President of the Open Dialog Foundation (ODF) addressed a letter to INTERPOL’s agencies in regard to the Mr. William Browder case. Mr. Browder was subjected to a sixth international arrest warrant issued by the Russian Federation.
On May 10, 2018, Kyrgyzstani security service officers detained Muratbek Tungishbayev, blogger from Kazakhstan, in Bishkek. He is currently being kept under arrest. Tungishbayev needs urgent eye surgery to save his eyesight. A criminal case has been launched against him in Kazakhstan.
On 23 April 2018, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) addressed a letter to the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, expressing its concerns over Kazakhstani lawyer and political refugee Botagoz Jardemalie.
I am writing this to ring the alarm about Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian political prisoner who is now in deadly danger in a Russian prison, on a hunger strike. If no urgent measures are taken, he will die in his attempt to liberate his fellows in misery – other Ukrainian political prisoners.
On May 24, Gazeta Wyborcza published a column entitled “Good change counted in ziobrys” on the application of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the court to dismiss the board of the Open Dialog Foundation and the last similar case regarding the organization Citizens of the Republic of Poland.
Year in and year out, Moldova cannot shake off the shackles of corruption, oligarchy, and selective justice. International partners expressed their readiness to render assistance to the country in carrying out the necessary reforms, but they have faced sabotage and inactivity
On 10 May 2018, in Kazakhstan, the police dispersed peaceful protesters with the use of brute force. Participants in the protests were striving to draw the attention of the delegation of the EP to the problem of political prisoners and the practice of torture in the country’s detention centres.
In the dispute with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since August 2017, the Open Dialog Foundation once again defended its position: The Regional Court for the capital city of Warsaw decided to dismiss the Minister of Foreign Affairs’s complaint against the previous decision of the court.
During the last Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Spring session, on 25 April 2018, twenty-nine members signed a written declaration, expressing their “serious concern” about the ongoing attacks on civil liberties in Kazakhstan and calling for “cessation of blocking social media
On the occasion of the Spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a delegation of human rights defenders and civil society experts were present in Strasbourg between Monday 23 and Wednesday 25 April, 2018
Thus far, more than 38 cases of politically motivated criminal prosecution have been registered in Kazakhstan. Of these, 24 political prisoners are being held in prisons and detention facilities, or even (in two cases) in mental hospitals.
Since the end of 2015, we have seen disturbing trends in the actions of the Polish government and the parliamentary majority formed by the populist-nationalist party, Law and Justice (PiS), which harm the activities of human rights defenders and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Poland.
On March 21, MEP Tomáš Zdechovský submitted a written question to the EU VP/HR on the arbitrary detention and use of torture taking place in Kazakhstan. This comes after an appeal submitted to president Nazarbayev by seven MEPs who expressed their concern about the current situation of human rights.
On March 13, 2018, MEPs submitted a written question to the EU VP/HR, Ms Federica Mogherini, on the harassment and persecution of lawyers taking place in Azerbaijan. In their address, P. Auštrevičius, J. Ward and T. Zdechovský made reference to individual cases of persecuted lawyers.
The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation with the use of its own armed forces in March 2014 caused numerous violations of rights and freedoms, including freedom of thought and expression, conscience and religion.
Oleksandra Matviychuk, the head of the Center for Civil Liberties, handed over to Kurt Volker, an appeal from more than 50 civil society associations (including the Open Dialog Foundation) regarding strategic priorities in the course of negotiations with Russia.
The Kazakhstani court has banned the activities of the new opposition movement ‘Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan’. The slightest support of the DCK has been penalised with prison terms.
A Moldovan court has sanctioned the arrest of counsel Ana Ursachi. The court session was carried out in the absence of her defenders. The authorities engaged a public defender in the judicial process, which can be regarded as a way to legalise the court decision
On 3 March 2018, the police used brutal force to disperse a many-months-long protest near the Ukrainian parliament building. As a result of clashes between police and protesters, more than 100 people were detained.
On March 3, 2018, the National Police of Ukraine and the National Guard of Ukraine demolished the tent camp that had been located on Hrushevsky Street near the Ukrainian Parliament
The Kazakhstani political prisoner Mukhtar Dzhakishev is suffering from life-threatening diseases – he is now at risk of stroke and heart attack. The latest examinations have revealed impaired brain function. Dzhakishev stays in bed almost all the time.
Persecution of lawyers: selected cases from Moldova, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan
Under the guise of a discussion on ‘financial fraud’, an information attack was launched against the Open Dialog Foundation in the European Parliament. The smear campaign against our organisation has become a revenge for our activities to protect human rights in the post-Soviet space… (read more)
Businessman Iskander Yerimbetov has become another victim of the criminal case against the Kazakhstani opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov. Yerimbetov is the brother of Botagoz Jardemalie, Ablyazov’s lawyer, who has been granted political asylum in Belgium.
1. Introduction In April 2017, opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov, along with his associates, announced the resumption of the activities of the ‘Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan’ (DCK) movement. The previous DCK movement was banned by a Kazakhstani court on charges of ‘extremism’ in 2005. According to Ablyazov, 32,000 people joined the DCK in 2007. In authoritarian […]
On 7 December 2017, the court dismissed the motion, personally signed by Witold Waszczykowski, for appointment of a compulsory administrator for the Open Dialog Foundation. Still, his successor, Minister Jacek Czaputowicz is following in the footsteps of his predecessor.
During the last PACE Winter session, on 26 January 2018, twenty-nine members signed a motion for resolution to call for the strengthening of efforts aimed at promoting and protecting the rule of law and the respect of civil liberties in Poland, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.
During the last PACE Winter session, on 25 January 2018, twenty-four members signed a written declaration to urge the authorities of Kazakhstan to abide by the country’s international commitments under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Kazakhstan in 2005.
In the light of the recent developments in Poland, one of the most urgent problems is the attack on civil society by governmental administration bodies. Non-governmental organisations, critical of the state authorities have been subjected to unprecedented pressure.
The work of a lawyer in the Eastern European member countries of the Council of Europe is fraught with many risks: murders and attempted assassinations, criminal prosecution, pressure on relatives, illegal searches, attempts to withhold an attorney’s license, and slanderous media campaigns.
On December 22, Mr Erasmo Palazzotto, Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, signed an appeal addressed to the Secretary General of INTERPOL and to the Chairperson of the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files.
On December 13, 2017, MEPs – Ana Gomes, Tunne Kelam, Jaromir Stetina, Indrek Tarand, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Julie Ward – addressed the Moldovan authorities with regard to the worrisome developments of the state of democracy and the crackdown on civil society taking place in the country.
On December 13, 2017, a group of MEPs signed a letter addressed directly to the highest authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan, raising their concern about the situation of human rights and individual cases of politically motivated prosecutions, and demanding that the case of Mr Is… (read more)
On 11 December 2017, miners of four mines in the city of Shakhtinsk, Karaganda Province, refused to return to the surface and announced the beginning of a protest action. They put forward a number of demands, the main of which is a 100% increase in salaries.
16 December is Kazakhstan’s Independence Day. However, this date is also known as the anniversary of the Zhanaozen shooting: six years ago, at least 17 striking oilmen died from police bullets. Since then, this day has been associated with the oppression of the civil society in Kazakhstan.
We seek your urgent support to save the life of victim of the latest political persecution of Crimean Tatars in occupied Crimea. He is 57-years old Bekir Degermendzhi who was detained on 23 of November this year on a fabricated criminal charge.
Businessman Iskander Yerimbetov has become another victim of the criminal case against the Kazakhstani opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov. Yerimbetov is the brother of Botagoz Jardemalie, Ablyazov’s lawyer who has been granted political asylum in Belgium.
When arriving in Ukraine, political refugees do not leave their problems behind; on the contrary, they face new ones.
On 22 November 2017, at 2:00 p.m., the Kyiv Appellate Court will consider Zhanara Akhmetova’s appeal against her extradition arrest. Kazakhstani opposition journalist Zhanara Akhmetova was arrested in Kyiv at the request of Kazakhstan.
On 8 November 2017, two committees of the Verkhovna Rada, the Committee on Human Rights and the Committee on Freedom of Speech,discussed the case of Zhanara Akhmetova. The general problem of unlawful extraditions and a large number of refusals to grant refugee status has also been raised
On 12 October, 2017 the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy adopted a report by Axel Fischer (Germany, EPP/CD) “The relations of the Council of Europe with Kazakhstan”
Following its firm statement in defence of the independence of the judiciary, and thus, against violation of the Constitution and the rule of law in Poland, on 21 July 2017, ODF became the object of unprecedented attacks by the Polish governmental administration and broader right-wing circles.
Kazakhstani opposition journalist Zhanara Akhmetova was detained in Kiev on 21 October 2017 with gross violations of the Ukrainian legislation. On 24 October 2017, the court ruled on her temporary arrest for 18 days. In protest against the decision, Akhmetova went on a hunger strike.
The European Union has issued its Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2016, with a country-by-country analysis and a summary of the current and future actions and priorities of the EU in protecting human rights.
Kazakhstan put the journalist Zhanara Akhmetova on the wanted list on the basis of a court judgement which had already become effective; according to her counsels, it is illegal. The Migration Service of Ukraine refused to grant refugee status to Akhmetova.
On the 11th of October, 2017, Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) signed a joint letter of concern addressed to the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, over the unlawful detention of two political prisoners: Mukhtar Dzhakishev and Muratkhan Tokmadi.
Between September and October, a delegation from the Open Dialog Foundation visited the European Parliament and the PACE to address the human rights situation and the issue of political prisoners in Moldova and Kazakhstan, as well as the recent violations of civil liberties in Poland.
On 11 October, 2017, Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) addressed the Secretary of Interpol, Mr Jürgen Stock, and the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) in a bid to warn against abusive use of the international arrest warrant.
In modern Kazakhstan, activists and journalists receive prison terms for civil and trade union activities, for public criticism of the authorities, for participating in peaceful rallies, for publishing and sharing posts on social networks, and for conducting journalistic investigations.
In the response to ‘A. Fotyga’s position regarding the calling for the destabilisation of the state’, published on the website of the MEP from the Law and Justice party on 27 July 2017, L. Kozlovska wrote a letter, in which she referred to the issues raised and accusations brought against ODF.
In the light of the recent developments in Poland, one of the most urgent problems is the attack on civil society by governmental administration bodies. Non-governmental organisations, critical of the state authorities (including Obywatele RP [Citizens of Poland], Fundacja Otwarty Dialog
The battle over fugitive billionaire Mukhtar Ablyazov stretches from Kazakhstan to Knightsbridge
Since the beginning of the Russian–Ukrainian conflict, at least 65 Ukrainian citizens have faced politically motivated criminal proceedings in Russia, as well as in the occupied Crimea.
I first came across the Open Dialog Foundation in 2011 during OSCE Summit in Warsaw, when, together with MPs of Civic Platform and Law and Justice, the ODF stood up in defence of persecuted pro-democracy activists and miners of Zhanaozen (i.e. crude oil region in Kazakhstan)
On August 24, 2017, Pavlo Gryb, a Ukrainian citizen, disappeared in Belarus. Two weeks later it became known that he was in a detention facility in Russia. According to Gryb, some persons unknown to him forcefully took him out of Belarus and brought him to Krasnodar (Russia)
In connection with numerous mistakes and inaccuracies in the articles, we would like to present our position on them in the statement below. The remarks refer to the printed version of the articles (in the online version of GW, both articles were united into one and slightly changed/edited).
Mukhtar Dzhakishev’s serious chronic diseases have become more advanced. He is in a need of urgent hospitalisation. Serving time in one of the harshest penal facilities in Kazakhstan, Dzhakishev is not receiving the necessary medical care
In early July 2017, the presidential draft laws No. 6674 and No. 6675 were registered in the Parliament of Ukraine. The draft laws were elaborated allegedly to replace the scandalous amendments to the anti-corruption legislation obliging the anti-corruption activists to annually file personal asset
On August 24, 2017, Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb (age 19) went missing in the Republic of Belarus. As of September the 4th 2017 his whereabouts remain unknown. Belarus authorities confirmed the border crossing; however did not confirm his arrest or detention.
In two letters addressed to the Secretary of INTERPOL, Mr Jürgen Stock and the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF), Members of the Polish Parliament, Mr Marcin Święcicki and Mrs Kornelia Wróblewska expressed their concern over individual cases.
MPs Mr Marcin Święcicki (Platforma Obywatelska) and Mrs Kornelia Wróblewska (Nowoczesna Ryszarda Petru) addressed the Minister of Justice of Hungary in respect to the extradition of a Kazakh citizen, Mr Yerzhan Kadesov, who fell victim of politically motivated prosecution of Mr Mukhtar Ablyazov.
Members of the Polish Parliament, Mr Marcin Święcicki and Mrs Kornelia Wróblewska, urged Kazakhstani government to terminate unlawful practices against Mr Murakthan Tokmadi, Kazakh prominent businessman, arrested on 12 June, 2017, under questionable criminal charges.
On the 21st August, a Polish journalist and opposition activist during the time of the People’s Republic of Poland, Wojciech Maziarski addressed an open letter to the Polish authorities which was published in social media and on the website of Koduj24.
The campaign aimed at discrediting the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC) and its leader Vitaliy Shabunin, continues in the form of a criminal case initiated against Shabunin for the alleged beating of journalist Vsevolod Filimonenko.
On the 7th August, the Open Dialog Foundation received another letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this time telling it to urgently delete from the web space „information inciting to undertake illegal activities”.
I confirm that due to the onset of the Russian occupation of the Crimea in March 2014, my brother left Sevastopol for Poland together with his closest family, including his current wife. He is now staying in the US. His return to the Crimea is not possible at the moment.
Members of the Global Ukrainians network are alarmed by recent allegations (utterly unproven) coming from certain state media outlets in Poland concerning alleged ODF’s links to Russian secret services, and by mass distortion of information in reports of Euromaidan events
The ODF statement of 14 August 2017 concerning the safety of its workers and donors
On 24 July 2017, a former BTA Bank employee, Yerzhan Kadesov was extradited from Hungary to Kazakhstan. The information was announced by the Anti-Corruption Agency in Kazakhstan on 10 August 2017.
Through the use of torture, the NSC is forcing Tokmadi to give false testimony confirming that 13 years ago, he ‘committed murder’ ‘at the instruction’ of opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov
It is very surprising to us to read statements, unsupported by evidence, about the alleged links of the Open Dialog Foundation with the Russian special services. It seems that the publications, which appear in certain government media, are retaliation for the active position of the organisation.
On 4.08.2017, the Chair of the Open Dialog Foundation’s Council Bartosz Kramek replied to the letter from the Director General of Foreign Services, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Andrzej Jasionowski, in which, amongst other things, the Foundation is called upon to explain why
On 2 August, Marcin Święcicki, MP of the Civic Platform, was a guest on “24 Pytania – Rozmowa Poranka” broadcast on Polskie Radio 24. The main topic discussed by Katarzyna Adamiak-Sroczyńska included the latest right-wing media reports on the Open Dialog Foundation
In connection with the information about allegedly mysterious sources of funding of the Open Dialog Foundation (the Foundation, ODF) currently publicised by pro-government and right-wing media, as well as pro-Russian portals
The practice of prosecuting political opponents with the help of controlled law enforcement agencies is systemic in Russia. Even in cases when political refugees have left the territory of Russia, they still cannot feel safe.
It is with moderate respect and satisfaction that we have welcomed the decision of President Andrzej Duda on vetoing the laws on the Supreme Court and the National Justice Board. It carries hope for reconciliation and putting an end to the conflict which has recently dominated the public life
In the published article, B.Kramek expressly emphasised the need to maintain the PEACEFUL nature of the protest actions. We agree that the presented postulates may be perceived as far-reaching and controversial, but the basic premise is articulated directly: LET’S ACT VERY DECISIVELY, BUT WITH NO…
We therefore present to you the following article and call for broad cooperation to cease the dismantling of the rule of law. In the article, we have brought together our experiences and reflections; they may prove valuable in the course of resistance.
The extradition of Yerzhan Kadesov – how it is being carried out
Yerzhan Kadesov is a former employee of BTA Bank; currently, he is facing extradition from Hungary. Mr. Kadesov is accused within the framework of the criminal case, carried out against the Kazakhstani opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov (the case of BTA Bank).
On 27 June, 2017, Members of PACE from across the political spectrum and different states addressed the Secretary of Interpol and the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files in a joint letter concerning the widespread abuses of Interpol system by Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Azerbaijan.
Strategic cooperation between the Council of Europe and Kazakhstan in the field of criminal and constitutional justice, human rights and democratic citizenship has so far been an essential monitoring tool in bringing Kazakhstani institutions in line with European standards.
A high percentage of support (55%) from voters who cast their vote for Petro Poroshenko in the early presidential election in 2014, speaks of the hopes that Ukrainian citizens had placed in the newly elected President of Ukraine.
Non-democratic states carry out political persecution through the Interpol system. Both human rights NGOs and intergovernmental organisations have been working on this problem for several years. Finally, the reform of Interpol got underway.
Against the backdrop of growing public discontent with the current government, the political regime in Moldova is becoming tougher. The powerful oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc has monopolised the influence on the state authorities and, currently, he controls law enforcement agencies.
Against the backdrop of growing public discontent with the current government, the political regime in Moldova is becoming tougher. Opposition activists and human rights activists increasingly frequently face politically motivated criminal prosecutions.
For more than 4.5 years, a citizen of Poland, Aleksander Orlow, was held in detention in the Odessa detention facility under questionable charges. Due to the international publicity and professionalism of Ukrainian attorneys, it was possible to obtain a court decision on his release from custody.
Members of the EP Mrs Julie Ward, Mrs Marju Lauristin, Mr Tomáš Zdechovský and Mr Tunne Kelam have addressed in a joint letter the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF) and Secretary General of Interpol concerning the abuse of international arrest warrants by Kazakhstani authorities.
As Members of the EP; we would like to raise with you the issue of worrying wave of repression, mass arrests, detentions and criminal prosecutions carried out by the Kazakh authorities against representatives of the civil society, activists, counsels, journalists and opposition voices in the country
On 16 March, 2017, the European Parliament adopted a resolution regarding Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and the situation in occupied Crimea. The resolution calls on the Russian government to immediately and unconditionally release all Ukrainian political prisoners.
Mrs Balli Marzec recently addressed the ODF and MEPs with whom we met during the Strasbourg week in February, 2017, via an email with the subject “True opposition have nothing in common with Ablyazov”.
Russian military aggression against Ukraine is accompanied by a large-scale oppression of Ukrainian citizens. More than 60 people have been subjected to criminal prosecution for political reasons. Of these, 45 persons are being held in detention.
Searches and arrests, enforced disappearances and beatings, censorship and bans on protests have become an everyday reality in Crimea. Currently, at least 39 people are being held in detention on trumped-up charges.
Zhanbolat Mamay refused to give ‘self-incriminating testimony’ on the case of BTA Bank. After that he was beaten in detention centre and was threatened with reprisal. Zhanbolat Mamay has become yet another victim of the criminal case against the opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov.
On February 11, 2017, chief editor of the opposition newspaper ‘Tribuna’, Zhanbolat Mamay, was arrested. The Kazakhstani authorities have labelled him a ‘member of Mukhtar Ablyazov’s criminal group’. The charges against the journalist are based on the testimony of the refugee Zhaksylyk Zharimbetov,.
France recognised the political nature of the prosecution of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a longtime opponent of Nursultan Nazarbayev. The need to obtain ‘additional testimonies’ against Ablyazov led to the intensification of a ‘hunt’ for former top managers of BTA Bank.
On 21 January, 2017 Turkish special services along with Kazakhstan special services took Zhaksylyk Zharimbetov, colleague of Kazakh opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov, out from Turkey to an unknown destination. Zharimbetov was granted refugee status in Great Britain.
V.Buntov has been repeatedly subjected to torture due to his refusal to withdraw a complaint he filed against FR with the ECHR. Russian authorities deny him medical care and demonstratively threaten him with an extended prison sentence in retaliation for his attempts to defend his rights in the ECHR
We, the Russian and Polish human rights activists, hereby urge the Ministry of Justice of Austria to prevent the extradition of Nail Malyutin to Russia until the circumstances of his case are determined by the competent authorities of the Republic of Austria.
On 9 December 2016, France’s State Council (Conseil d’Etat) rejected Russia’s request for the extradition of the Kazakh opposition politician and businessman Mukhtar Ablyazov. The request for Ablyazov’s extradition was recognised as politically motivated.
On 7 December, 2016, the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien) revoked the decision of 29 July, 2015 to approve Malyutin’s extradition to Russia based on charges of incitement to murder. The court now ordered that the case of Malyutin be re-examined.
Notwithstanding its obligations, the Moldovan government has clearly deviated from the democratic course it claims to be following and from its duty to respect, protect and fulfill human rights.
Through illegal extraditions and violations of the rights of refugees, the Ukrainian authorities contribute towards the political persecution by Moldova, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
Counsel Ana Ursachi represents the interests of numerous opponents of the powerful oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc who exerts influence on the judiciary and law enforcement agencies of Moldova and may be involved in her unlawful criminal prosecution.
According to this year’s Human Freedom Index 2016 survey measuring widely understood personal and economic liberty, Eastern Europe is departing faster and faster from the western part of the continent.
On 28 November, 2016, a Kazakh court sentenced activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan to five years in prison. The court also banned them for three years from engaging in social activities and ordered them to pay 530,250 tenge (approximately 1,500 euros).
On 6 October, 2016, the Open Dialog Foundation concluded an Amicable Settlement with the publisher, the then editor-in-chief and one of the authors of the article entitled ‘ entitled ‘Lobbyści Oligarchy’, published in the weekly ‘Wprost’ in February 2014.
We call upon the Czech authorities to defend Tatiana Paraskevich who has been exposed to persecution as a part of politically motivated case and now faces new threats.
The Kazakh authorities have detained more than 1,000 and arrested more than 30 protesters. Several activists, who, via social networks, expressed their intention to attend rallies faced criminal charges of ‘attempting to seize power’, ‘inciting social and national hatred’.
Since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, at least 43 Ukrainian citizens have been illegally prosecuted for political reasons on the part of the Russian law enforcement agencies. Of them 6 have been released, 30 are still held in detention facilities or prisons.
On Friday 23 September, 2016, the Open Dialog Foundation and the Center for Civil Liberties organized an OSCE ODIHR Human Dimension Implementation Meeting side-event on Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation and the illegally occupied Crimea.
(Translation from Russian) Supreme Public Prosecutor, of the Czech Republic, Pavel Zeman Jezuitská 4, Brno, CZ-660 55 Czech Republic, [email protected]; Head of Department for Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic, Tomáš Haišman 21/ОАМ, Nad Štolou, 3, Praha 7, CZ-170 34 [email protected]; [email protected]; Minister of Justice of the Czech […]
Vladimir Kozlov, Kazakh dissident, released from prison last month, after almost five years spent behind bars, wrote a letter to the Open Dialog Foundation. In the letter, he calls ODF activists his friends and thanks them for their dedication in fighting for his freedom.
Kazakhstan exerts illegal and political influence on Ukraine and Russia in the framework of the criminal case against Mukhtar Ablyazov and Tatiana Paraskevich. The Czech Republic refused to extradite Paraskevich, however, Ukraine and Russia re-submitted similar requests for her extradition.
The ODF has prepared a report on the issue of prolonged pre-trial detention in Ukraine due to the violation of reasonable terms of criminal proceedings. The project was implemented with the funds from a grant bestowed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
Under the auspices of the Ukrainian Bar Association, the Open Dialog Foundation has prepared a report on the issue of prolonged pre-trial detention in Ukraine due to the violation of reasonable terms of criminal proceedings.
On 28 July, 2016, attorneys and NGO representatives discussed the results of the study, carried out by the Open Dialog Foundation. It was devoted to the issue of ‘The excessive length of detention in Ukraine in breach of reasonable time of criminal proceedings’.
In 2015, the Open Dialog Foundation continued its humanitarian aid programme addressed to the ones in need in Ukraine. The categories of beneficiaries did not change and included: widely understood defence structures, medical services and citizens’ initiatives.
On 28 June, 2016, the court in Vilnius handed down the ruling denying the requests of Kazakhstan and Ukraine regarding the extradition of Syrym Shalabayev who is a relative of the Kazakh opposition politician and political refugee, Mukhtar Ablyazov.
Geneva 23 June 2016 – On 22 and 23 June 2016 the UNHRC – the body that monitors the implementation of the rights enshrined in the ICCPR – reviewed for the second time since Kazakhstan is a party to the ICCPR the status of civil and political rights in the country.
More than three dozen Ukrainians continue to remain in detention for political reasons in Russia.
The decision on his extradition to Russia must be reconsidered
On 22-23 June 2016, the UN Human Rights Committee will consider the implementation of Kazakhstan’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
In April 2015, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights initiated consultations on the development of recommendations, aimed at creating of a favourable environment for civil society’s activities.
Open Dialog Foundation calls on to urgently react to the wave of arrests of Kazakhstan activists, and make every effort to prevent violence against citizens during peaceful rally planned for the 21 May, 2016 in several Kazakhstan cities.
As early as in 2014 the Czech Republic granted to Tatiana Paraskevich subsidiary protection, refusing to extradite her to Ukraine or Russia. However, in 2016, Ukraine and Russia almost simultaneously issued identical requests for Paraskevich’s extradition.
We, the representatives of Russian human rights organisations, would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Kazakh opposition politician and political refugee Mukhtar Ablyazov is currently facing extradition from France to Russia.
On 30 March, 2016, Jean-Claude Juncker met with Nursultan Nazarbayev – a dictator, who has single-handedly governed Kazakhstan for over 25 years. The President of the European Commission stated that his ‘good friend’ Nazarbayev was ‘sensitive’ to the problems of human rights.
A citizen of the Republic of Poland, A. Orlow, who has been held in custody without having been sentenced for over 4 years now, went on hunger strike in protest against the unbearable conditions of detention and torture he is being subjected to in the detention facility where he is being remanded.
In view of the scale of its operations and the significant and growing number of incidents of so-called hate speech, the ODF is not able to comment on an ongoing basis on all allegations directed at it, in particular, criticism which is loosely based on fact, as expressed by anonymous authors.
Donald Tusk should use the occasion of the meeting not only to exchange political pleasantries but also to address the sensitive and uncomfortable issues in the EU, said Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialog Foundation.
The participant in high-profile corruption scandals Vladimir Guzyr prepared a statement on the ‘validity’ and ‘legality’ of the request for Syrym Shalabayev’s extradition.
Due to the recent extremely worrying developments and following consultations with Nadiya Savchenko’s lawyers, as well as with the representatives of the Russian opposition and civil society we have decided to broaden the “Savchenko List” with new names and to make it public.
The Open Dialog Foundation, an international NGO active in promotion, support and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the post-Soviet area supports a political asylum request filed to the Dutch authorities by a Turkmen citizen, Mr Uhmyt Hallyyev and his family.
In line with an agreement made between Putin and Nazarbayev, investigators from the ‘Magnitsky List’ and representatives of Kazakhstan demanded that Paraskevich and Trofimov sign incriminating testimonies against opposition politician, Ablyazov.
From 29 February to 2 March, a high-level EU-Ukraine conference took place in the European Parliament, seeing a sizeable Ukrainian delegation of around 70 people attending. Over 40 members of the Verkhovna Rada, as well as secretariat staff arrived to Brussels for the Ukraine Week.
Stanislav Klykh (aged 41, a citizen of Ukraine) is one of the defendants in the so-called ‘Chechen case’ – a fabricated criminal case against senior Ukrainian officials for crimes committed on the territory of the Russian Federation during the First Chechen War in the mid-1990s.
Syrym Shalabayev, a relative of the Kazakh opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov, is accused in the criminal case concerning the ‘embezzlement of funds of BTA Bank’. Human rights organisations have underlined the political context of the case.
Russia is one of the leaders in terms of the overall number of registered applications it has filed against it in the European Court of Human Rights. In December 2015, Russia adopted legislative amendments which means that decisions issued by the ECHR and other international courts are not enforced.
The Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK) was the largest opposition movement in Kazakhstan of the past 25 years. The story of the DCK serves as a perfect illustration of the core issues of the Kazakh authoritarian regime.
On 14 January, 2016, MP Yegor Sobolev urged the General Prosecutor’s Office to carefully examine publicised incidents of abuse by Ukrainian investigators in the cases against Kazakh opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov and his relative Syrym Shalabayev.
Kazakhstan demands that administrations of social networks disclose personal data of independent journalists, bloggers and political opponents. In retaliation for criticism, the authorities bring criminal charges of ‘spreading false information’ against inconvenient journalists.
Within the framework of the human rights campaign ‘LetMyPeopleGo’,ODF and the Civic Initiative ‘Euromaidan SOS’, present a report about 27 Ukrainians and 1 citizen of a European country who have faced unlawful and politically motivated criminal prosecution in Russia and the occupied Crimea.
Journalists of the online portal ‘Nakanune.kz’ Guzal Baidalinova and Rafael Balgin have been taken into custody and placed under arrest for 2 months. Their colleague, Yulia Kozlova is also facing arrest. The journalists are being prosecuted under Art. 274 of the Criminal Code of the Kazakhstan.
On 18 December 2015, police raided the editorial office of the online portal ‘Nakanune.kz’ as well as apartments of the journalists: Gyuzyal Baidalinova, Yulia Kozlova and Rafael Balgin. The journalists may face charges of ‘spreading false information’.
Four years ago, on 16 December, 2011, in the Kazakh city of Zhanaozen, riot police opened fire with live ammunition on the backs of unarmed oil workers, who had been protesting for higher wages and better working conditions for seven months.
We have a pleasure to present an overview of the panel discussion: “What reforms are needed in Ukraine to secure its aspirations toward EU Membership?”.
While rejecting criticism from the international community, Kazakhstan is tightening its grip on civil society. However, a desire to preserve its image forces authorities to resort to making some concessions in the cases of political prisoners.
Human rights defenders appeal to the office of the Prosecutor General, Ministry of Justice and President of Lithuania requesting recognition of political motivations behind persecution of a relative of the Kazakh dissident and urging not to allow S. Shalabayev’s extradition to Kazakhstan or Ukraine.
This publication provides a summary of the implementation of the process of purification of government in Ukraine and attempts to assess the successes and failures of the new Ukrainian authorities in this field.
12 Oct 2015 – The French government has decided to extradite Mukhtar Ablyazov, Kazakh dissident and key representative of political opposition to longtime Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, to Russia.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls signed a decree on September 17, ordering the extradition to Russia of Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov.
The Ukrainian authorities did not manage to take advantage of a window of opportunity which appeared after the overthrow of the Yanukovich regime. To date, no concerted efforts have been undertaken to implement deep systemic reforms by the President, the parliament and the government.
We wish to draw your attention to the alarming fact of the prosecution of the relative of a Kazakh oppositionist in a case which is overtly characterised by political context.
Syrym Shalabayev, a relative of the Kazakh opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov, requests that Lithuania grants him political asylum and protection against extradition.
Kazakhstan is orchestrating the Ukrainian and Russian investigations in the case of an opposition politician and applies illegal lobbying mechanisms in Europe.
The Russian regime held a show trial involving opponents of the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Oleg Sentsov and Aleksander Kolchenko were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on trumped-up charges of terrorism
A citizen of the Republic of Poland was faced with a dubious criminal prosecution in Ukraine and has spent the last 4 years in pre-trial incarceration without having been sentenced by a court.
PEN International and the Open Dialog Foundation deplore the current situation of Vladimir Kozlov, a Kazakh journalist, human rights defender and a leader of Alga!, a political opposition party, who is currently serving a seven-and-half-year prison sentence for ‘inciting social discord’.
For more than 15 years, the illegal prosecution of a 60-year-old citizen of Poland, a member of the Union of Journalists of Ukraine, human rights activist and father of three, including two minors, Aleksander Orlow, has been ongoing in Ukraine.
On 10 August, 2015, the Kazakh opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov celebrated his 55th birthday behind bars. Having been placed in strict conditions of detention, he is subjected to ill-treatment and faces the risk of being transferred to a different, more severe penal colony.
The Kazakh authorities misinform the international community in order to avoid criticism for their persecution of political prisoner V. Kozlov.
As a result of military operations in the Donbass, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their permanent places of residence and move to other regions of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania has answered the Open Dialog Foundation’s letter, in which the organisation has been calling for more transparency in sharing publicly information about the implementation of the European Union’s sanctions imposed on Russia.
Ivan Štefanec, Member of the European Parliament, has sent a written question to the European Commission and the European External Action Service to ask them how they monitor the process of implementation by the EU Member States of sanctions against Russia.
On June 30 and 1 July 2015 we were especially honoured to have an opportunity to participate in the conference on the future of Polish-Ukrainian relations at University of Cambridge (represented by Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bartosz Kramek).
A Kazakhstani political prisoner is being subjected to ill treatment. Vladimir Kozlov has been systematically denied a transfer to milder conditions of detention and release on parole.
The Open Dialog Foundation welcomes the decision of the General Assembly of Interpol to provide a mandate for the Interpol Working Group on the Processing of Information (the GTI) for the implementation of a comprehensive review of Interpol’s supervisory mechanisms in the area of data processing.
The Open Dialog Foundation was invited, as one of the external experts, along with representatives from Fair Trials International, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Centre for Peace Studies and Sherpa Organisation, to take part in the first meeting of the Working Group on the Processing of Information (GTI).
As appears from the statement of the press secretary of the Investigative Committee (IC) of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Markin, Russian investigative authorities may instigate legal proceedings against Nadiya Savchenko’s counsel, Mark Feygin.
The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has responded to a letter from Maddy Delvaux, currently an MEP, formerly a minister in the governments of prime ministers of Luxembourg Jacques Santer and Jean-Claude Juncker.
Potentially, one of the main witnesses in the reopened Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s case is under constant threat from Russia. He can’t travel outside Estonia, Germany and the US due to the Interpol arrest warrant filed by Russia and his family faces repressions at home.
The Open Dialog Foundation welcomes the initiative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on consultations regarding the creation of a favourable space for civil society activities and the development of a report with practical recommendations on this matter.
Early in the morning on 23 June 2015, police forces armed with water cannons pacified and dispersed about 500 protesters that gathered for a peaceful demonstration in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan.
Due to its strategic location and tremendous potential in terms of natural resources, such as oil, natural gas and uranium, Kazakhstan – despite its exacerbating issues surrounding respect for human rights – remains an important partner for European countries.
The Open Dialog Foundation (ODF) is a non-governmental, non-partisan organization established in Poland, in 2009. The statutory objectives of the Foundation include promotion, support and protection of human rights, democracy and rule of law in the post-Soviet area.
This analysis has been created to present the current status of lustration in Ukraine and reflect the need for it’s implementation and improvement. It is a joint work of the Open Dialog Foundation and Civic Lustration Committee.
I am standing up for Ablyazov, asking that the politically motivated criminal case against him be closed and the Ukrainian extradition request against him be withdrawn.
As an expression of our solidarity with human rights organisations who have published reports, members of the European Parliament and the PACE regarding the case of Ablyazov, we hereby present you with an appeal that you deny the requests for the extradition of the Kazakh opposition politician.
In view of the changing reality, Interpol is forced to demonstrate its continued readiness to introduce reform and adjust its structures and procedures according to current needs. Our initiative and, at the same time, appeal addressed to legislators, is that they immediately undertake efforts in order to prevent Interpol from being used for political purposes […]
The preliminary investigation into the criminal case against the Ukrainian political prisoner Nadiya Savchenko has come to an end. In the near future, the results of which will be submitted for consideration by the court.
A lot of controversies have arisen in connection with the volunteer battalions which have been involved in the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine. To a great extent, this is due to Russian media propaganda which promulgates the notion that the battalion soldiers are, in fact, ‘fascists’.
The anti-terrorist operation zone (ATO) can practically be divided into two zones: the zone of active hostilities, and the zone of ‘villages near-the-frontline’ where Ukrainian troops are stationed, but where no direct hostilities are taking place.
1. Introduction The political context of the case of Mukhtar Ablyazov has been repeatedly referred to in the statements of human rights organisations, members of the European Parliament and the PACE. Russia and Ukraine are not safe countries for extradition as these countries do not guarantee the right to a fair trial or adequate conditions […]
The Prison Service Committee at the Kazakh Ministry of Internal Affairs has replied to the letter from Marcin Święcicki, MP, concerning the Kazakh dissidents Vadim Kuramshin and Aron Atabek. In their reply, the Kazakh authorities provide an unrealistic vision of idyllic conditions in Kazakh prisons.
Early presidential elections resemble a staged play under the facade of democracy. Uncompetitive elections are a way for Nazarbayev to consolidate autocratic power.
Members of the European Parliament from the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group addressed an inquiry to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, F. Mogherini, concerning the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
One of the main obligations of the Ukrainian authorities to their Western partners, regarding the reform of the judicial system in the country, was the implementation of the reform of the prosecutor’s office.
Since his arrest on the basis of a ‘red notice’, Mukhtar Ablyazov has already spent nearly two years in different detention facilities in France. Now, as the extradition trials have come to an end, the fate of the famous Kazakh oppositionist will depend on a decision by the French government.
The Open Dialog Foundation urges the imposition of personal sanctions against persons responsible for the kidnapping, arrest and imprisonment of Ukraine’s PACE delegate, people’s deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukrainian citizen Nadiya Savchenko.
The MEPs Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Michał Boni (Poland), Pavel Svoboda, Tomas Zdechovsky (Czech Republic) and Tunne Kelam (Estonia) addressed an appeal to France’s highest authorities in defence of Mukhtar Ablyazov.
Ingancio Sanchez Amor, addressed a letter to the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the National Assembly of the French Republic, E. Guigou, requesting that it be delivered to all Committee members. In his letter, he appealed to the French government not to extradite the Mukhtar Ablyazov.
Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, addressed an appeal to the Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls and Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Victor Shokin concerning the Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov.
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.
Ukrainian MP Andriy Kozhemiyakin, the Head of Committee for legal basis of law enforcement, has addressed the General Prosecutor of Ukraine Viktor Shokin regarding the revision of extradition requests received by Ukraine.
Illegal cooperation with the Kazakh authorities discredits the new leadership of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies
17 March 2015 – The Open Dialog Foundation expresses its full support for the “Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act” (S.284/H.R.624).
The European External Action Service has replied to a letter from the Open Dialog Foundation addressed, in February 2015, to the High Representative, F. Mogherini
11.03.2015 Muratbek Ketebayev left Spain and went back to Poland, where since December 2013 he has a refugee status. It ended the procedure, through which the regime of Nursultan Nazarbayev tried to obtain Ketebayev’s extradition from Spain to Kazakhstan.
On 11 March, 2015, Members of the European Parliament from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (Social Democrats), intervened in the case of Mr Mukhtar Ablyazov, Kazakh dissident and the main political opponent of the current President of Kazakhstan.
The Open Dialog Foundation has addressed a letter to EU representatives, including the European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, and members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) and the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament (DROI)
The Open Dialog Foundation appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) pointing to the need to reform the international police mechanisms. At the same time, stories of victims of the system, documented in the Foundation’s most recent report, were presented
The Open Dialog Foundation has once again raised a call for an INTERPOL reform to bring in more transparency, openness and attention to the politically motivated Red Notices.
The presentation of the most recent report of the Open Dialog Foundation on the need to reform the Interpol system is producing its first effects.
A year after Euromaidan, the crimes of the Viktor Yanukovych regime are yet to be investigated. The former leadership of the General Prosecutor’s Office should be held accountable for the department’s poor results.
When granting asylum to the associate of the Kazakh political opposition, the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Spain revealed the ill faith and errors his case had suffered from at the hands of courts and administrative bodies.
On the 24 of February, the media spread information about the death of Rakhat Aliyev, a famous politician who opposed the regime of Nursultan Nazarbayev. He was found dead in an Austrian Josefstadt prison in a solitary cell, where he had moved a few days prior on his own request.
Political refugees become victims of misuse of the Interpol system by authoritarian states.
The recurring question, whether there will be war or not is a rhetorical one, because the war in Ukraine has been going on for many months now. We may not turn a blind eye to that – a discussion about facts is a waste of time; the situation requires action.
T. Paraskevich, ex-colleague of a Kazakh dissident Mukhtar Ablyazov, granted additional international protection in the Czech Republic for the next two years. On 18 February 2015, the Czech authorities have decided to extend by two years the protection Paraskevich first received in February 2014.
The Open Dialog Foundation urges the imposition of personal sanctions against persons responsible for the kidnapping, arrest and imprisonment of Ukraine’s PACE delegate, people’s deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukrainian citizen Nadiya Savchenko.
10 February 2015 – The Open Dialog Foundation welcomes yesterday’s sign of solidarity with Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian pilot, as well as MP and delegate to PACE, which took place on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.
The Italian Foreign Ministry replied to a senator’s interpellation. In December 2014, Senator Luigi Compagna addressed a written inquiry to Italy’s government concerning political prisoners in Kazakhstan, and the situation of Zinaida Mukhortova in particular.
On 2 February 2015, the Open Dialog Foundation addressed an open letter to the Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative, Federica Mogherini, in order to draw her attention to the critical situation of human rights in Kazakhstan.
Artur Trofimov is accused in a criminal case against Kazakh opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov.
Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Pieter Omtzigt, filed a written inquiry with the Committee of Ministers concerning N. Savchenko’s case, in which he asked what action had been taken to bring about the release of the Ukrainian lieutenant.
Yesterday, 26th January 2015 deputy to Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Levus together with two other deputies registered initiative to implement changes to the law “On the purification of government”.
Jan Olbrycht, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski and Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa lodged a written inquiry with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy concerning the extradition procedure ongoing with regards to Mukhtar Ablyazov.
In protest against the illegal prosecution, the Ukrainian woman went on hunger strike.
Polish MEPs have filed a written inquiry with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy concerning the case of the Kazakh oppositionist Vladimir Kozlov.
21 January 2015 – During the upcoming PACE session in Strasbourg next week, the delegates are set to review the credentials of the Russian delegation, whose voting rights have been suspended since April 2014. The Russian delegation has also temporarily lost the right to be represented in the Assembl
Russia’s Prosecutor’s Office continues to assert that along with the occupied territories, the country appropriated Ukrainian citizens.
Upon the initiative of an Italian MP, Eleonora Cimbro a written question for an answer to the Committee on Foreign Affairs was sent to the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy on 16 January 2015
In the current week, Members of the European Parliament from two political groups have intervened in the case of Mr Muratbek Ketebayev, Kazakh political and social activist, who was arrested on December 27, 2014, in Madrid.
Members of the European Parliament and the Polish delegation of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group sent a written question to the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Ms Federica Mogherini and the European External Action Service (EEAS) on the curr
The Spanish senator Urko Aiartza has filed a written inquiry concerning the Kazakh activist and oppositionist Muratbek Ketebayev.
In a letter to the Spanish Minister of Justice Rafael Catala, Polish MPs expressed their concern over the detention of Kazakh activist Muratbek Ketebayev in Spain, who has been granted refugee status in Poland.
Owing to his serious health condition, a man convicted in the Zhanaozen case, Maksat Dosmagambetov, has been transferred from prison to house arrest. He stated that he wasn’taware of his exact diagnosis, as his medical records are stored in the police department.
Another Kazakh dissident has been arrested by Spanish police on the basis of an Interpol letter, citing false criminal allegations as reasons for the detention. The court ordered the incarceration of Ketebayev in a detention facility for the pendency of the proceedings where the living conditions po
Investigators refused to open a criminal case regarding the torture of the Ukrainian filmmaker and continue to contrive charges.
Andrzej Lewandowski, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, has been a participant of observation missions in Russia, organised by the Open Dialog Foundation, regarding the case of Nadiya Savchenko.
The Open Dialog Foundation received a reply to the inquiry regarding the case of Sentsov, Kolchenko and Afanasiyev from the Office of the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation.
Statements by Kazakh authorities about intolerance of torture and willingness to cooperate with civil society in addressing this issue remain declarative and are not implemented efficiently in practice.
Italian Senator Luigi Compagna filed a written inquiry with the Italian government, regarding political prisoners in Kazakhstan, in particular, the situation of Zinaida Mukhortova.
Alfredo Arpaia, the head of the Italian league for Human Rights (LIDU, Lega Italiana dei Diritti Dell’Uomo) and a member of the International Organisation for Human Rights (FIDH) has addressed Italian authorities with regard to the case of Nadiya Savchenko.
Member of the European Parliament, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, filed a written inquiry with the European Commission regarding the Ukrainian activists, abducted from the territory of Crimea: Oleg Sentsov, Gennadiy Afanasyev, Aleksey Chirniy and Alexander Kolchenko.
At the beginning of December 2014, French MP and the Chair of the Committee on European Affairs in the French National Assembly – Ms Danielle Auroi, as well as Spanish MEP and a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament – Mr Fernando Maura Barandiaran have appealed on the ca
In his letter to President of France, Francois Hollande, Member of the Polish Parliament, Tomasz Makowski, called for “a large measure of self-control in cooperation with the Republic of Kazakhstan until the country steps onto the path of respect for human rights and democratic change”.
We have become aware of your planned visit to Kazakhstan, which will be held between 5-6 December. In this regard, we hereby ask you not to help Nursultan Nazarbayev in his fight against democracy through acquiescence to human rights violations in Kazakhstan.
Italian Senator, Manuela Serra, addressed the Ukrainian authorities in an official letter with regard to the Kazakh dissident, Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is facing extradition from France to Russia or Ukraine.
Italian Senator, Manuela Serra, wrote a letter to President of France, Francois Hollande with regard to Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh dissident, currently in custody in France awaiting extradition, the main political opponent of President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Russia’s violation of international agreements and accords
during the Ukraine crisis
Within the framework of the Universal Periodic Review, the United Nations states pointed to Kazakhstan’s failure to fulfill previous recommendations, as well as the deterioration of the situation with regards to freedom of speech, assembly and religion.
The reformed Kazakh criminal law contains politicised and vague criminal charges, which can be widely and subjectively interpreted by the state in order to oppress opposition activists, journalists and politicians.
The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, replied to an e-mail sent by the Open Dialog Foundation concerning Ukrainian pilot, Nadiya Savchenko.
The report summarises the problems of Ukrainian lustration in the context of current political circumstances, and describes in detail the work on the act “On Purification of Government” adopted by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on 16th September 2014.
On August 12-14, 2014, the Parliament of Ukraine passed three acts on criminal procedure and human rights which constitute a gross and large-scale violation of generally recognised international human rights standards
The criminal case against Mukhtar Dzhakishev was politically motivated and was carried out in gross violation of the fair trial standards. Kazakh authorities did not permit Swiss doctors from the World Organization against Torture to examine him.
On Monday, 3 November 2014, the Polish MEP Michał Boni, a member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and the EURONEST Eastern Partnership Parliamentary Assembly, has written to the EU Delegation in Moscow on the case of Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot illegal
The Open Dialog Foundation is expressing its protest against unlawful actions undertaken by Russian investigators, designed to thwart the efforts of Nadiya Savchenko’s attorneys: Mark Feigin, Ilya Novikov and Nikolay Polozov.
On Thursday, 30 October 2014, the Polish MEP Kosma Złotowski, a member of the EURONEST Eastern Partnership Parliamentary Assembly, has written to French, Ukrainian and Polish governmental representatives on the case of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh oppositionist and the main political opponent of the P
Since Kazakhstan’s last Universal Periodic Review, the situation regarding human rights has deteriorated. Kazakhstan’s government has failed to implement many of the reform commitments to which it agreed.
Russian investigative agencies continue with the criminal prosecution against Nadiya Savchenko, the captured Ukrainian servicewoman.
Report on the conduct of 6 monitoring missions to Russia, in relation to the case of Nadiya Savchenko
Sixty-one MEPs have signed a letter addressed to Vladimir Putin in which they call upon the leader of the Russian Federation to conduct Savchenko’s case in accordance with the European Human Rights Convention and to let MEPs participate in the hearings of the Ukrainian lieutenant.
Tatiana Paraskevich, a former colleague of Kazakh opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov and one of the most important witnesses in his case, has international protection in the Czech Republic and will not be rendered to Ukraine or Russia.
At the request of the Open Dialog Foundation, Pieter Omtzigt of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) submitted a written enquiry to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the Ukrainian lieutenant Nadiya Savchenko.
Criminal prosecution of Mukhtar Ablyazov is being carried out on the political order of the Kazakh authorities. In cooperation with Ukrainian and Russian investigative authorities, Kazakhstan is striving to bring about the extradition of an opponent of the regime.
Vincent Degert, representing the European External Action Service answered questions from the Open Dialog Foundation concerning, amongst others, the Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, persecuted by Russia.
The Open Dialog Foundation has addressed the President of the European Parliament concerning the matter of the Ukrainian journalist E. Agarkov and the abducted female pilot N. Savchenko.
Following the refusal to transfer Vladimir Kozlov to a penal colony with less stringent conditions, pressure exerted on him by the administration of the colony has increased.
Today, the Court of Appeal in Lyon held the main hearing in the extradition proceedings of Mukhtar Ablyazov, a long-time oppositionist of the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Since July 2013, Ablyazov has been remanded in custody.
By persecuting political opponents, the Kazakh authorities openly flout public assurances, given to the international community. Kazakhstan declares that the right to a fair trial will be observed with respect to opposition politicians, journalists and activists.
Russia has put Pavel Ushevets, a Ukrainian ‘rooftopper’, on the international wanted list. Pavel became subject to criminal prosecution after having conducted a pro-Ukrainian performance in Moscow.
Vladimir Kozlov was denied a transfer to softer regime conditions due to penalties which he had not been informed of. Roza Tuletayeva was not released on parole, as the court found that she “has not demonstrated that she has embarked on the path of correction”.
Since late March 2014 we actively support Lustration Committee of Yehor Sobolev by organizing thematic conferences, study visits in the dedicated institutions in Europe and also a direct hands-on consulting on draft law of Ukraine “On Purification of Government”.
According to all international legal norms, the Russian Federation has no right to detain, arrest, present charges to or try the citizens of Ukraine for alleged crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine.
A fabricated criminal case of alleged preparation of terrorist acts on the territory of the Crimean peninsula, with four Crimean civil activists charged (including a well-known director Oleg Sentsov), is gathering pace.
The famous Kazakh dissident and poet, Aron Atabek was transferred to a detention facility in Pavlodar, where he was held under intolerable conditions. For his attempts to defend his rights, he was placed in solitary confinement as a “deliberate violator”.
According to the Open Dialog Foundation, an internet campaign has been launched against Mukhtar Ablyazov, the Kazakh dissident who is the chief opponent of Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
More and more signals are reaching our Foundation from Ukrainian nationals who are being denied refugee status or consent for tolerated stay in Poland.
On 11 May, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada approved in principle the draft Law of Ukraine “On Sanctions” elaborated by the government. The purpose of the draft law is to protect national interests, national security, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
On 24 July 2014 the Kazakhstani human right advocate Zinaida Mukhortova was transferred to an ICU. The woman was administered an injection of an unknown substance, after which her condition rapidly deteriorated.
On 21 July, 2014, the Government submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a draft law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On the State Budget of Ukraine for 2014 “(concerning the indices adjustments)”, which provided for indices adjustments in the State budget of Ukraine for the current year.
Sanctions have been imposed by the G7 countries, EU and other countries on the Russian Federation in a bid to force Russia to stop funding, arming and supplying weapons to terrorists in the east of Ukraine and to de-escalate the conflict.
On 02.07.2014 Zinaida Mukhortova was forcibly taken from her home – for a further time. According to information from the public association “Kadyr-kasyet”, during Mukhortova’s detainment her 14-year-old grandson Timur was struck on the head, and her 5-year-old granddaughter was pushed away with brute force. The Kazakhstan human rights defender Zinaida Mukhortova is being persecuted […]
The president of a Kazakh foundation “National Anti-corruption Committee”, Musagali Duambekov, has been sentenced to one year of imprisonment for “defamation” after the publication of a series of journalistic investigations.
The EU has made a decision to introduce third-tier sanctions against Russia. The sanctions relate to the energy and finance sectors, military and dual-purpose products (Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014).Sanctions are effective for a period of one year with the possibility of reconsideration af
Terrorists in the east of Ukraine kidnapped and brutally assassinated a member of the Horlivka City Council, ‘Euromaidan’ activist, Volodymyr Rybak. In the city, occupied by terrorists, he maintained his active pro-Ukrainian position for which he was killed
The French court nullified the decision on the extradition of the Kazakh opposition activist and ordered that the case undergo further consideration.
Government in collaboration with experts has worked out Concept for Ukraine’s tax system reforms, which has been introduced to the public recently. The Concept is to determine trends, mechanisms and timings to form an efficient tax system that will provide a favourable environment for the growth of
Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in the Crimea detained and arrested four citizens of Ukraine on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks in the occupied peninsula. In order to obtain confessions, they used torture against the detainees.
The signing the Economical section of the Association Agreement with the EU may imply a resurgence in trade wars with Russia. On 18 June, 2014, Putin stated that in this case it would be impossible to continue with zero-rate import customs duties for Ukrainian products.
Over the 23 years of the Bank’s cooperation, Ukraine was offered resources in the amount of over 7.94 billion US dollars (of which more than $5.5 billion has already been used).
Russia is the main external source of redeployment of militants and weapons (including heavy armament – tanks, armoured personnel carriers, multiple grad rocket launchers) into the territory of Ukraine.
Convicted lawyer Andrey Derkunskiy, who allegedly had evidence to prove his innocence, was found dead in his cell on 22 January, 2014. The cellmate of the deceased, Daniar Tolendinov reported that he had witnessed the authorities of the detention facility cooperating with the murderers.
Polish MP, Marcin Święcicki of Platforma Obywatelska (Citizens‘ Platform) addressed an appeal to Ukraine’s authorities urging them to discontinue their relations with the authoritarian regimes of Russia and Kazakhstan concerning the abuse of Interpol systems aimed at persecuting their political oppo
MPs of the “Twój Ruch” (Your Move) parliamentary group Tomasz Makowski, Łukasz Krupa, Artur Debski, Maciej Mroczek and Robert Biedron, signed an appeal to Ukraine’s authorities expressing their concern over the practice of handing over political refugees and opponents to non-democratic states.
During its presidency of the European Union in 2009, the Swedish authorities proposed launching the Eastern European Partnership programme with the project regarding energy efficiency and the environment, the financial support for which will come from the Fund.
Over the 22-year cooperation, the portfolio of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Ukraine constituted 321 projects, for the implementation of which the Bank has allocated 8.7 billion euros.
The short-term monitoring mission covered five cities: Kiev, Odessa, Chernigov, Vinnitsa and Lviv. The mission consisted of citizens of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Canada and Ukraine.
International Technical Assistance (ITA) – the resources and services which, in accordance with international treaties of Ukraine, are provided by donors on a free-of-charge and irrevocable basis with the purpose of supporting Ukraine.
The Odessa tragedy is yet another step in Russia’s plans to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. As a result of the planned provocations, clashes occurred in the city between pro-Ukrainian activists and extremists. 48 people were killed and more than 200 were injured.
We are deeply concerned over the fact that the judicial bodies in Ukraine could not abandon the practices which took place during the government of Viktor Yanukovych as well as previously.
On 13.05.2014, in Brussels, a Memorandum of Understanding and Loan Agreement were signed between Ukraine as a borrower and the EU as the lender in order to provide macro-financial assistance in the amount of €1 billion.
Odessa tragedy: responsibility for the incident lies with the local police
The annexation of the Crimea must lead either to the total global isolation of Russia with effective sanctions, and then will we witness a sharp about-turn and the Crimea will be transferred back to Ukraine, when it restores its sovereignty.
On 19 April 2014, according to Article 33 of the Budget Code of Ukraine, Prime Minister Yatseniuk’s government submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the Draft Resolution “On the Guidelines of the 2015 Budget Policy” , developed in accordance to the Programme of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukrai
Over the past 1.5 years, independent and opposition media in Kazakhstan have found themselves on the brink of annihilation.
As a result of the events connected with the mass protests in Ukraine, in two months (January and February 2014), one journalist was killed and approx. 130 sustained wounds and injures of varying severity.
Russian special forces provoke a large-scale military conflict in Europe
The Government of Ukraine is actively discussing the topic of FDPs who were forced to leave the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC), declaring a readiness to provide them with legal and material assistance.
Part 2. Reducing the State budget expenditures (sequester)
On 20 March, 2014, the Kazakh political prisoner Vladimir Kozlov was transferred from a remote colony in North-Kazakhstan Province to a colony in close proximity to his place of residence in Almaty Province.
Part 5. Proposals for balancing the state budget
Part 4. Crisis legislation and its possible consequences
Part 3. New opportunities: supplementing the state budget
For several years, the couple, Aidos and Natalia Sadykov was persecuted in their homeland due to their journalistic activities. They were forced to leave Kazakhstan, as Natalia faced imprisonment for libel.
On 1 April, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is to vote on the adoption of the Law ‘On the rights and freedoms of citizens in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine’.
On the motion of Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the State Budget for 2014 on 16 January, 2014.
Flags of the Russian Federation are hoisted in all military facilities in the Crimea. Ukrainian servicemen are leaving the territory of the peninsula. Negotiations are also being carried out regarding an unimpeded withdrawal of logistics (including weapons and ships).
We are deeply concerned over the deterioration of the international reputation of Ukraine connected to the extradition of refugees and prisoners of conscience to countries with a low level of democracy.
Under pressure from the Chinese authorities, the Spanish Parliament is hurriedly preparing an amendment to the Judiciary Act. It is planning to do away with the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows Spanish courts to prosecute the gravest crimes committed beyond its borders.
Due to several penalties imposed on human rights defender, Vadim Kuramshin and possible further provocations, he may be refused a transfer to a more lenient ‘general regime’ within his penal colony.
Through the law firm ‘Ilyashev and Partners, the Kazakh party submitted to Ukrainian investigators information and personal data of accused parties; written criminal charges and requests for extradition;
Why Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of the Crimean Parliament, became such a fervent separatist?
On 11.03.2014, at the Crimean border, an aggravated robbery was committed against the film crew of the “ТК SKY TG 24” Italian television channel. Similar cases have become common on the Crimean peninsula in parallel with the start of the occupation by Russian armed forces.
The Ukrainian revolution that began as a peaceful rally in support of the country’s European integration (the EuroMaidan), and later transformed into massive anti-government protests, resulted in an armed clash between protesters and police officers.
The Russian Federation has blatantly violated the law and international agreements by committing an unprovoked aggression on the territory of Ukraine. The violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state must cause a strong response from the European Union and the Western world.
On 1 March, 2014, Russia officially announced the dispatch of troops to Ukraine. “The ‘reason’ for this was disingenuous information about ‘Russian citizens killed in the Crimea’. Russian security forces are carrying out a set of planned actions aimed at military provocations.
On 27 February, 2014, several-dozen armed men seized the building of the Supreme Council and the Cabinet of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, in Simferopol (Ukraine).
67-year-old pastor, Bakhtyzhan Kashkumbayev, who has health problems, was remanded in custody for nine months.
Tatiana Paraskevich, a former colleague of the opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov, is currently under international protection in the Czech Republic and cannot be rendered to Ukraine or the Russian Federation.
According to the information received by Open Dialog Foundation, the Spanish government secretly issued a decree, allowing the extradition of Aleksandr Pavlov to Kazakhstan, on 14 February 2014.
18.02.2014 clashes between the protesters and the police started again. Dozens of people have been killed, more than a thousand wounded. Hospitals are overcrowded with injured people. The authorities took advantage of the ceasefire: they mobilised their resources to solve the conflict by force.
In various cities across Kazakhstan, dozens of people took to the streets in protest against the collapse of the national currency. More than 40 protesters were forcibly taken to the police station.
With relation to the ‘Lobbyści oligarchy’ article the Open Dialog Foundation feels obliged to its benefactors and donors as well as anyone and everyone involved in human rights, democracy and rule of law activity, and subsequently wishes to publish the following statement.
As during previous clashes on Independence Square, on 30 November, 2013, and on 1 December, 2013, near the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, numerous violations of rights of third parties and journalists, were recorded during the events on Hrushevskoho Street which began on 19 January, 2014.
The calmness on the barricades, which has lasted for the past few days, may soon cease.
Mass anti-government protests have spread into most regions of Ukraine.
The point of no return for Ukraine: failure to sign the agreement with the EU and oppression of civil protesters and journalists discredited Ukrainian authorities
It is very important to prevent the extradition of refugees from European countries to Russia, where they might be subjected to torture or be sent back to the countries of Central Asia and subjected to ill-treatment and convicted there.
Kazakhstan is party to the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The concept of the mission is based on the conviction of the need for a transition from moral and symbolic support to specific actions.
Don’t Extradite Refugee to Country Where he Risks Unfair Trial
Dozens of journalists and protesters were ruthlessly beaten by special forces ‘Berkut’. Several medical volunteers were also subjected to battery. Below, the Open Dialog Foundation presents a list of victims.
The official cause of death of Kazakh journalist Igor Larra has not yet been confirmed to his family. During his life, Larra was threatened repeatedly and attacked in connection with his professional activity.
In December, 2013, France will hold a series of court hearings in order to review the extradition case of the Kazakh politician, Mukhtar Ablyazov. International human rights organisations are calling on France not to allow his extradition to Ukraine or Russia
Appeal to embassies of the European Union.
Reports on the findings of the Monitoring Mission to observe rights and rule of law in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Political prisoner, Kazakh opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov has been systematically and unlawfully denied a transfer to a colony in close proximity to his place of residence in Almaty Province
The story of KDC is an outstanding illustration to the very core issues of the Kazakhstan authoritarian regime, where all the power lies in the hands of a closed circle of decision makers with the President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the head
Kazakh authorities are exploiting the legal mechanisms of the International Criminal Police Organisation in order to persecute opponents of the regime.
The journalist and civil activist, Aleksandr Kharlamov was taken into custody on charges of inciting religious hatred during March, 2013. He has undergone psychiatric examination several times during the period of incarceration.
The wife and daughter of Mukhtar Ablyazov in Italy were under close surveillance. International human rights organisations and the United Nations have expressed serious concern about the ‘extraordinary rendition’ of Mukhtar Ablyazov’s wife and daughter to Kazakhstan.
The Open Dialog Foundation hereby demands the immediate release of Zinaida Mukhortova, a human rights defender of the town of Balkhash.
A decision was ratified by a Czech court to extradite Tatyana Paraskevich, former colleague of Kazakhstan opposition politician, Mukhtar Ablyazov to Ukraine
Alexander Pavlov’s lawyers appealed against the decision of a Spanish court on his extradition to Kazakhstan. The former security chief and confidant of opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov is a valuable source of information for the law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan
Former employee of Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank, Zaure Akpenbetova may face extradition to Kazakhstan in connection with the charges she has been presented with in the criminal case of a prominent opposition politician, Mukhtar Ablyazov.
A brutal rape of a resident of the village Vradiyevka (Nikolayev Province, Ukraine) Irina Krashkova by local police officers has led to huge public outcry and has developed into open defiance of the authorities.
Poor working conditions, low salaries, a lack of protection by the law – these and other reasons have prompted industrial workers in Kazakhstan to hold protest rallies in order to defend their rights
Speech delivered by Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Chairman of the Board of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law
at the conference«U.S. Engagement in Central Asia after 2014»
Session: U.S. Interests and Threats to U.S. Interests
The perpetrators of the assassination attempt against Lukpan Akhmedyarov have been sentenced to long prison terms. However, the true architects of the assassination attempt have not yet been determined
Kazakh authorities are trying to extradite Mukhtar Ablyazov’s former bodyguard Alexandr Pavlov. In view of the vague nature of the charges, the Open Dialog Foundation calls upon the authorities of the Kingdom of Spain to prevent the extradition of A. Pavlov to Kazakhstan
The criminal proceedings against the wife of fugitive Kazakh opposition leader, Mukhtar Ablyazov, bear features of a political order. Ablyazov’s six-year-old daughter, Alua Ablyazova, may also be the victim of political conflict.
The creation of a new single pension fund in Kazakhstan is officially aimed at improving the state pension system. However, such a reform, in addition to the nationalisation of private savings funds, will concentrate most of the mandatory and voluntary pension savings in the hands of the state.
A rapid growth in utility rates has now become a concern of most Kazakh citizens. Monopolists explain the growth rates by the modernisation of infrastructure, but in reality the technology remains dated and dilapidated.
03.06.2013 – 10.06.2013
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan has released 6 oil workers from custody, who were convicted in the Zhanaozen case. However, the court upheld the sentences of the remaining prisoners, ignoring numerous statements on the use of torture against them by the investigating authorities.
The government of Kazakhstan has been ignoring the demands of both the Kazakh and international community by failing to provide medical care to Roza Tuletayeva or publicise anyobjective data regarding the state of her health.
Criminal prosecution is one of the main instruments of political struggle in Kazakhstan; with this method, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has successfully eliminated his political opponents and critics for many years. National security services assist him in these endeavours
The threats against the independent press in Kazakhstan are becoming a reality: Guzyal Baydalinova, an employee of the closed newspaper ‘Golos Respubliki’, was attacked before the very eyes of her neighbours. There is reason to believe that Special Forces of Kazakhstan were involved in the attack
The public expression of religious views was the reason for the arrest and initiation of a criminal case against Aleksandr Kharlamov, a civic activist from Ridder. He now faces imprisonment or compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital
The reform has not eliminated, and in some cases – even exacerbated – the problem of violation of the right to defence at trial, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and gatherings, as well as the freedom of expression and dissemination of information.
During his stay in the colony, the health condition of the 52-year-old Kazakh oppositionist has considerably worsened. Due to the lack of necessary medical equipment and medical specialists in prison, Vladimir Kozlov does not receive adequate assistance
06.03.2013 – 18.03.2013
The critical deterioration of the situation of freedom of speech in Kazakhstan has been publicly announced by representatives of Kazakhstan community and European politicians
15.02.2013 – 05.03.2013
The Appellate Court upheld the guilty verdict against the human rights defender Vadim Kuramshin. Soon, he is going to be transported to the high-security penal colony EC 164/4. Now, friends and relatives of the Kazakh human rights activist fear possible reprisals against him.
30.01.2013 – 14.02.2013
Prosecutors mitigated the charges against Askar Moldashev, the brother of Daniyar Moldashev, the publisher of the ‘Golos Respubliki’ newspaper
Over recent days, dozens of civil activists from various regions of Kazakhstan were summoned for interrogations by financial police with relation to a criminal case against the oppositionist Mukhtar Ablyazov.
On 18 January, 2013, a court trial in connection with the assassination of Aleksandr Bozhenko, (one of the witnesses of the Zhanaozen events of 16 December, 2011,) came to an end
It is planned that on 1 January, 2014, Kazakhstan will introduce a new Code of Criminal Procedure. Human rights activists and lawyers fear that the new criminal legislation will unreasonably enhance the powers of the police and create conducive conditions for violations of human rights.
Report on the Observation Mission to Observe Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Republic of Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan, sentences against participants of the tragic events in Zhanaozen and Shetpe village have been revised. The decisions of the appellate board did not meet the expectations of the public.
The position of the Open Dialog Foundation on Aleksander Kwasniewski’s role as an advisor to the President of Kazakhstan
Tragedy in Zhanaozen and the possibility of ‘Arab spring’ in Kazakhstan
By the decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Kazakhstan, the opposition politician has been convoyed to the penal colony outside the area of his residence, namely to Petropavlovsk, North Kazakhstan Province
In connection with the criminal case against opposition politician Muratbek Ketebayev, the staff of the National Security Committee have sealed-off offices and confiscated the propertyof several independent medias and opposition groups
The special services of Kazakhstan have initiated a criminal case against Askar Moldashev, the brother of Daniyar Moldashev and publisher of the ‘Golos Respubliki’ newspaper. His counsel and relatives claim evidence has been fabricated and that he is a victim of blackmail carried out by the NSC.
08.12.2012 – 16.12.2012
A number of independent media outlets have been banned in Kazakhstan. The prohibition of the activity does not concern just editorial offices of these media, but also the journalists who have worked for the outlets.
27.11.2012 – 07.12.2012
A court has sentenced Asel Nurgaziyeva to 12 days of incarceration, having accused her of disorderly conduct and disobeying police officers. The circumstances of the human rights defender’s arrest remain unclear. Nurgaziyeva’s lawyer claims provocation.
10.11.2012 – 27.11.2012
Attempts made by the Kazakh authorities to ban the activities of opposition parties and the media outlets in the country have caused a strong negative reaction among the international community.
After the appeals to the local authorities proved to be unsuccessful, the pupils of the Mangistau Province orphanage were forced to seek help from international human rights organisations.
Monitoring of the post-electoral situation in Ukraine (28.10.2012 – 16.11.2012)
23.10.2012 – 09.11.2012
We present to you an information booklet, devoted to the turbulent situation in the Republicof Kazakhstan – the largest country in Central Asia and the third largest economy in the CIS (after Russia and Ukraine).
Monitoring of the pre-election situation in Ukraine (15.09.2012 – 15.10.2012)
Major events in the socio-political life of the country in the period between 01.10.2012 – 23.10.2012
On 08.08.2012, a sentence in the case of opposition leaders has been handed down.Vladimir Kozlov was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment with confiscation of property. Akzhanat Aminov and Serik Sapargali were sentenced to 5 and 4 years’ probation, respectively
Major events in the socio-political life of the country in the period between 01.09.2012-30.09.2012
Monitoring of the pre-election situation in Ukraine (15.08.2012 – 15.09.2012)
Freedom House is monitoring the trial of Kazakhstani opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov, who is being tried alongside activists Serik Sapargali and Akzhanat Aminov on charges of attempting to overthrow the government of Kazakhstan
On Friday, the 31st of August, at 11.30, a press conference will be held in the press centre of the UNIAN information agency (Khreschatyk Str, 4). The conference is entitled: ‘The trial of opposition leader in Kazakhstan, Vladimir Kozlov, in the eyes of Ukrainian observers’
On the 16th of August, 2012, at 10:00 am, in the Mangistau Regional Court in Aktau, the trial of Vladimir Kozlov, Serik Sapargali and Akzhanat Aminov began
Monitoring of the pre-election situation in Ukraine (15.07.2012—15.08.2012)
01.07.2012 – 31.07.2012
Monitoring of the pre-election situation in Ukraine 15.06.2012 – 15.07.2012
The Kazakhstan authorities should immediately publicly disclose the grounds for bringing new criminal charges against opposition activists and an oil worker
The Kazakh media report about the pressure exerted by the United States on the European Commission and Parliament to accelerate the signing of the agreement on partnership and cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan.
Risks of using corruption tools in emerging markets by Western corporations. A tragedy at the Kazakh border post.
Monitoring of the pre-election situation in Ukraine 15.05.2012 – 15.06.2012
In connection with the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Yerzhan Kazykhanov to Poland the Open Dialog Foundation officially expressed its regret over the denial of participation in the meeting of the representatives of the Foundation.
Report on Kazakhstan
This issue focuses on two pressing issues for the life of Kazakhstan, namely: the opposition of two groups: ‘doves’ and ‘hawks’ in Kazakhstan’s political elite, as well as the adequacy of current anti-terrorist rhetoric used by the country’s government.
Upcoming elections in Ukraine
The Constitutional Court took decisions regarding the electoral law, which made changes in the regulation of the electoral process in Ukraine
The Open Dialog Foundation continues to monitor the socio-political situation in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan gives signs of change in its geopolitical orientation.
During the Aktau trial for those whom President Nazarbaev and his closest advisors decided to deem guilty of organising mass riots in Zhanaozen on the 16th-17th of December, 2011, methods by which special prosecutors and investigators forced defendants to give ‘confessions’ were revealed
At the moment, the life of the journalist Lukpan Akhmedyarov is at risk: he suffered a huge loss of blood, wounds caused damage of blood vessels in his heart
The staff of the Open Dialog Foundation hereby informs about potential attempts, made by the Kazakh government to discredit the Foundation in order to eliminate this organisation as one of the sources of independent information about the situation on human rights and media freedom in Kazakhstan
The published video is a staged, unsuccessful attempt to discredit opposition figures in the eyes of the public
The case on persecution
The case on persecution
The editor of the ‘Vzglyad’ newspaper was released under amnesty, opposition leaders had their terms of arrest extended for another month
Meeting took place in Brussels
The threats were sent to the home of Alia Turusbekova, Vladimir Kozlovs’ wife, saying that Vladimir Kozlov may be transferred to Zhanaozen to a detention facility with a stricter regime.
February was marked by a MEP’s visit to Zhanaozen and a rally organised by the Kazakh citizens who disagree with the policies of the government
The beginning of 2012 was marked by arrests of journalists of opposition newspapers and social activists.
MEP Piotr Borys, who visited Zhanaozen, stated that the town’s residents are afraid to speak openly.
[20:08:20] Interlexica: As a result of this leaflet, the editor-in-chief and the journalists of Kazakhstan may be incarcerated for seven years
Parliamentary elections 2012 in Kazakhstan: results and trends.
11.05.2011 – Beginning of the strike of the workers of the following oil extraction and production companies: ‘OzenMunayGaz’, ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ (investor from China), ‘Ersai Caspian Contractor’ (Italian ENI holding).
A number of candidates for membership of the Majilis were refused registration.
Opposition public figure Ayzhangul Amirova was detained in Aktau.
Election 28.12.2011, Almaty The City Prosecutor’s Office held a meeting with long-term members of the Election Observation Mission: Andrew McEntee and Elgun Tagiev. The deputy prosecutor of Almaty, Zhandos Umiraliev conveyed information about the order relating to the receipt of complaints regarding voting irregularities filed by members of election commissions, citizens as well as representatives […]
The events in Zhanaozen and reaction to them are still the most prominent issues.
The agitation period of the election campaign in Kazakhstan started, but the main pertinent events of the week were the tragic occurrences in Zhanaozen.
In Kazakhstan, the stage of candidate nomination is coming to an end and international organisations are forming observation groups.
While pre-election party conferences are held, human rights organisations issue statements about the high level of corruption and the deterioration of freedom of speech in Kazakhstan.
There will be the second session of Congress as soon December 8th (Thursday). This time it will be held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Silesia.
This issue is devoted to the risk of terrorism and extremism in Kazakhstan.
Roundtable on 29th of November, 2011 in room ASP A1E-2 of the European Parliament, from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 a.m.
On October 26, 2011, Asan Amilov, a cameraman, and Orken Bisen, a journalist from the “Stan.kz” were subject to armed attack in Aktau, the Mangistau District. The bullet-wounded victims were admitted to hospital. A criminal investigation was initiated in connection with the incident.
This issue of the bulletin was prepared by the analytical department of the Open Dialog Foundation and it is devoted to the subject of oil sector workers protests in Western Kazakhstan.
Illegal criminal prosecution of Natalia Sokolova, lawyer of the labor union of the joint-stock company “Karazhanbasmunay”.
Arrests and detentions of legitimate trade-union leaders and activists of the civil society
Workers striking in what has been described as the biggest organised threat to Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime in the last decade are being beaten by hired thugs as the government ignores pleas for basic international labour rights to be observed.
Structured human rights dialogues are held with each of the five Central Asian republics. They are designed to discuss questions of mutual interest and enhance cooperation on human rights as well as to raise the concerns of the EU on human rights in Central Asia.
The priority mission of international observers in municipal elections in Ukraine in terms of the international community, but also in terms of prospects for further European integration of Ukraine, is to provide information on the status of real democracy in Ukraine.
On 31 October 2010, a group of observers invited by the “Open Dialogue Foundation”, after having received accreditation from the Central Elections Commission of Ukraine, participated in a short-term observation of the voting process in the town of Drohobych, Lviv region.
In order to make observation on the day of election Open Dialog Foundation created a group of 30 observers from Poland accredited by The Central Election Committee and 30 interpreters.
Long-term observation was organized by an observation group which consisted of Yaroslav Prystash, editor of weekly of Ukrainian minority in Poland “Nasze Słowo” and Danilo Bekturganov – expert of election campaigns in Kazakhstan.