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Oppositionist Therefore Extremist

Oppositionist Therefore Extremist

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.

Shortcomings in the law enforcement system of Ukraine exemplified by the investigation of attacks on civil activists

Shortcomings in the law enforcement system of Ukraine exemplified by the investigation of attacks on civil activists

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.

Systemic Misconduct by the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan on Human Rights Issues

Systemic Misconduct by the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan on Human Rights Issues

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.

Political Killing in Kazakhstan

Political Killing in Kazakhstan

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 […]

Kremlin Repression Continues. Letter of support for Open Russia activist

Kremlin Repression Continues. Letter of support for Open Russia activist

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.

Observation Mission – Human Rights in Ukraine: Selected cases of persecution of civil society activists since 2014

Observation Mission – Human Rights in Ukraine: Selected cases of persecution of civil society activists since 2014

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.

Kazakhstan: Political Oppression During the Pandemic

Kazakhstan: Political Oppression During the Pandemic

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.

Report: How Hate Kills. Hate Crimes in Poland in 2019

Report: How Hate Kills. Hate Crimes in Poland in 2019

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.

The Case of Zhanara Akhmetova: Ukraine Is in Haste to Arrest and to Extradite Kazakhstani Journalist

The Case of Zhanara Akhmetova: Ukraine Is in Haste to Arrest and to Extradite Kazakhstani Journalist

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’s recommendations on the adoption of Magnitsky-style sanctions in Australian legislation

ODF’s recommendations on the adoption of Magnitsky-style sanctions in Australian legislation

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.

Kazakhstan: A dialogue or bluff?

Kazakhstan: A dialogue or bluff?

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).

The Open Dialogue Foundation supports the adoption of Australian legislation comparable to the Global Magnitsky Act

The Open Dialogue Foundation supports the adoption of Australian legislation comparable to the Global Magnitsky Act

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.

Zhanara Akhmetova risks extradition: a test for the new authorities of Ukraine

Zhanara Akhmetova risks extradition: a test for the new authorities of 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?

Has the State Been Captured Yet Again? Corruption and Political Persecutions in Moldova

Has the State Been Captured Yet Again? Corruption and Political Persecutions in Moldova

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.

ODF among signatories of the letter to the President of EC regarding the breach of the rule of law in Poland

ODF among signatories of the letter to the President of EC regarding the breach of the rule of law in Poland

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.

Unprecedented and unacceptable cooperation between Belgian authorities and Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime

Unprecedented and unacceptable cooperation between Belgian authorities and Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime

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 […]

They’ve Come For You: Misuse of Extradition Procedures and Interstate Legal Assistance

They’ve Come For You: Misuse of Extradition Procedures and Interstate Legal Assistance

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.

Iskander Yerimbetov’s health now critical in detention facility

Iskander Yerimbetov’s health now critical in detention facility

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.

Hate crimes in Poland in 2018: selected cases

Hate crimes in Poland in 2018: selected cases

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.

Court finds entry ban on Lyudmyla Kozlovska unjustified

Court finds entry ban on Lyudmyla Kozlovska unjustified

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.

MEPs address HR/VP Mogherini on the case of dismissed judge Malik Kenzhaliyev

MEPs address HR/VP Mogherini on the case of dismissed judge Malik Kenzhaliyev

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.

Law and Justice’s campaign against the Open Dialogue Foundation

Law and Justice’s campaign against the Open Dialogue Foundation

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)

The United Nations demanded the immediate release of Iskander Yerimbetov

The United Nations demanded the immediate release of Iskander Yerimbetov

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

Russia: Stop the prosecution of lawyers and human rights defenders

Russia: Stop the prosecution of lawyers and human rights defenders

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 Iskander Yerimbetov case: The trial of the Kazakhstan regime’s hostage

The Iskander Yerimbetov case: The trial of the Kazakhstan regime’s hostage

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.

Appeal by the Civil Society Organizations  regarding an arbitrary blockade of Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov by the Russian Federation and the capture of 23 Ukrainian servicemen

Appeal by the Civil Society Organizations regarding an arbitrary blockade of Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov by the Russian Federation and the capture of 23 Ukrainian servicemen

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)

U.S. Statement on Iskander Yerimbetov’s case

U.S. Statement on Iskander Yerimbetov’s case

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”

Collective complaint: Be quiet! Or be charged with extremism

Collective complaint: Be quiet! Or be charged with extremism

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”.

Will San Escobar be part of the Three Seas Initiative?

Will San Escobar be part of the Three Seas Initiative?

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.

Kazakhstan’s special services are shadowing activists in Ukraine

Kazakhstan’s special services are shadowing activists in Ukraine

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.

Open Dialog addresses INTERPOL on the case of Mr. Browder

Open Dialog addresses INTERPOL on the case of Mr. Browder

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.

Save Oleg Sentsov: time is ticking

Save Oleg Sentsov: time is ticking

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.

ODF wins court dispute with Polish MFA once again

ODF wins court dispute with Polish MFA once again

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.

MEPs write to the EU VP/HR concerned with lawyers endangered in Azerbaijan

MEPs write to the EU VP/HR concerned with lawyers endangered in Azerbaijan

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 case of Almat Zhumagulov and Kenzhebek Abishev

The case of Almat Zhumagulov and Kenzhebek Abishev

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 […]

Unprecedented attacks on the Open Dialogue Foundation in Poland

Unprecedented attacks on the Open Dialogue Foundation in Poland

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.

Каzakhstan: More than 700 miners go on strike

Каzakhstan: More than 700 miners go on strike

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.

Ukraine is in haste to transfer Zhanara Akhmetova to Kazakhstan

Ukraine is in haste to transfer Zhanara Akhmetova to Kazakhstan

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.

“Members of PACE warn Interpol of persistent violations”

“Members of PACE warn Interpol of persistent violations”

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.

Wielowieyski for Gazeta Wyborcza: Open Dialog at a crossroads

Wielowieyski for Gazeta Wyborcza: Open Dialog at a crossroads

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)

Russia abducts a young disabled Ukrainian and charges him with terrorism

Russia abducts a young disabled Ukrainian and charges him with terrorism

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)

The Report: The case of Muratkhan Tokmadi

The Report: The case of Muratkhan Tokmadi

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

Marcin Święcicki: The reports on the ODF are false

Marcin Święcicki: The reports on the ODF are false

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

Statement of the Open Dialog Foundation of 23 July 2017

Statement of the Open Dialog Foundation of 23 July 2017

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…

ODF addressed PACE to protect human rights in Kazakhstan

ODF addressed PACE to protect human rights in Kazakhstan

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.

Journalist Zhanbolat Mamay was beaten in Kazakhstani detention centre

Journalist Zhanbolat Mamay was beaten in Kazakhstani detention centre

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.

Moldova: Prosecution of counsel Ana Ursachi

Moldova: Prosecution of counsel Ana Ursachi

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.

In their appeal to the Czech authorities, Russian human rights defenders made a stand in defence of Tatiana Paraskevich

In their appeal to the Czech authorities, Russian human rights defenders made a stand in defence of Tatiana Paraskevich

(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 […]

Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement on ‘promising reform’ in Kazakhstan calls into question the competence of representatives of the European Commission given their assessment of the real situation in the country

Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement on ‘promising reform’ in Kazakhstan calls into question the competence of representatives of the European Commission given their assessment of the real situation in the country

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.

New names on “Savchenko List”

New names on “Savchenko List”

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.

Russia’s ignoring of European Court of Human Rights decisions

Russia’s ignoring of European Court of Human Rights decisions

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.

Kazakhstan: The oppression of journalists and bloggers

Kazakhstan: The oppression of journalists and bloggers

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.

Report:  ‘28 hostages of the Kremlin’

Report: ‘28 hostages of the Kremlin’

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.

Report: The case of ‘Crimean terrorists’

Report: The case of ‘Crimean terrorists’

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

The case of Aleksander Orlow

The case of Aleksander Orlow

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.

ODF drafted recommendations on the reform of Interpol

ODF drafted recommendations on the reform of Interpol

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.

Report: The harassment of civil society in Kazakhstan

Report: The harassment of civil society in Kazakhstan

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.

Armenian authorities disperse peaceful protests

Armenian authorities disperse peaceful protests

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.

Europe at Nazarbayev’s service

Europe at Nazarbayev’s service

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.

Current challenges of lustration in Ukraine

Current challenges of lustration in Ukraine

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.

Report: Volunteer battalions. Origin, operation, controversies

Report: Volunteer battalions. Origin, operation, controversies

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’.

Report: Aid for civilians and soldiers in the ATO zone

Report: Aid for civilians and soldiers in the ATO zone

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.

Report: France should not allow the deadly rendering of the Kazakh oppositionist

Report: France should not allow the deadly rendering of the Kazakh oppositionist

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 […]

Ingancio Sanchez Amor in defence of Ablyazov: Appeal to the French government

Ingancio Sanchez Amor in defence of Ablyazov: Appeal to the French government

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.

Mogherini replies to the appeal from MEPs on Kazakh dissidents

Mogherini replies to the appeal from MEPs on Kazakh dissidents

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.

The Social Democrats intervene on Mukhtar Ablyazov’s case

The Social Democrats intervene on Mukhtar Ablyazov’s case

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.

Alexandr Pavlov safe at last

Alexandr Pavlov safe at last

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.

Relatives and associates of Rakhat Aliyev reject the suicide account

Relatives and associates of Rakhat Aliyev reject the suicide account

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.

The war is on and requires the will to fight too, until we win

The war is on and requires the will to fight too, until we win

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.

SAVCHENKO LIST: persons involeved in persecution of N. Savchenko

SAVCHENKO LIST: persons involeved in persecution of N. Savchenko

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.

Dutch MEP appeals in Savchenko’s case

Dutch MEP appeals in Savchenko’s case

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.

Kazakh oppositionist Muratbek Ketebayev arrested in Madrid

Kazakh oppositionist Muratbek Ketebayev arrested in Madrid

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

The case of Oleg Sentsov

The case of Oleg Sentsov

Investigators refused to open a criminal case regarding the torture of the Ukrainian filmmaker and continue to contrive charges.

Sentsov was deemed ro be a Russian citizen

Sentsov was deemed ro be a Russian citizen

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.

Alfredo Arpaia on the case of Nadiya Savchenko

Alfredo Arpaia on the case of Nadiya Savchenko

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.

A written inquiry on the Crimean activists

A written inquiry on the Crimean activists

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.

Tomasz Makowski appeals to Francois Hollande’a

Tomasz Makowski appeals to Francois Hollande’a

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”.

Manuela Serra appealed to the President of France

Manuela Serra appealed to the President of France

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.

M. Schulz responds on N. Savchenko

M. Schulz responds on N. Savchenko

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, replied to an e-mail sent by the Open Dialog Foundation concerning Ukrainian pilot, Nadiya Savchenko.

Kosma Złotowski in Mukhtar Ablyazov’s case

Kosma Złotowski in Mukhtar Ablyazov’s case

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

Schulz in the cases of Savchenko and Agarkov

Schulz in the cases of Savchenko and Agarkov

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.

Kazakhstan does not comply with fair trial guarantees

Kazakhstan does not comply with fair trial guarantees

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.

Report: The case of Nadiya Savchenko

Report: The case of Nadiya Savchenko

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.

Urgent! Negative Internet Campaign against M. Ablyazov

Urgent! Negative Internet Campaign against M. Ablyazov

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.

Punitive psychiatry in Kazakhstan: human rights activist Zinaida Mukhortova forcibly placed in lunatic asylum for the fourth time

Punitive psychiatry in Kazakhstan: human rights activist Zinaida Mukhortova forcibly placed in lunatic asylum for the fourth time

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 […]

Ukraine’s Tax System Reform: Myth or Reality

Ukraine’s Tax System Reform: Myth or Reality

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

Why is Ukraine losing in the Russian market?

Why is Ukraine losing in the Russian market?

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.

Marcin Święcicki signed an appeal to Ukraine’s authorities

Marcin Święcicki signed an appeal to Ukraine’s authorities

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

Polish Parliamentarians’ Appeal to Ukraine’s Authorities

Polish Parliamentarians’ Appeal to Ukraine’s Authorities

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.

Interim report: Election in Ukraine, 25 May 2014

Interim report: Election in Ukraine, 25 May 2014

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 in Ukraine: the background

International Technical Assistance in Ukraine: the background

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.

Statement on refugees

Statement on refugees

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.

Government presents its vision of key 2015 budget policy trends

Government presents its vision of key 2015 budget policy trends

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

The West should not lose the battle of determination to Putin

The West should not lose the battle of determination to Putin

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.

Russian Federations starts a war with Ukraine

Russian Federations starts a war with Ukraine

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.

Statement by the Open Dialog Foundation

Statement by the Open Dialog Foundation

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.

Journalists purposefully attacked by police

Journalists purposefully attacked by police

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.

Report on Euromaidan

Report on Euromaidan

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

Report: Torture in Kazakhstan

Report: Torture in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is party to the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The story of Kazakhstan democratic choice opposition movement

The story of Kazakhstan democratic choice opposition movement

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

Report on misuse of the Interpol system

Report on misuse of the Interpol system

Kazakh authorities are exploiting the legal mechanisms of the International Criminal Police Organisation in order to persecute opponents of the regime.

Kazakh authorities demand the extradition of Alexandr Pavlov

Kazakh authorities demand the extradition of Alexandr Pavlov

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

Kazakhstan nationalises pension funds

Kazakhstan nationalises pension funds

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.

Kazakh security services on guard of Nazarbayev’s regime

Kazakh security services on guard of Nazarbayev’s regime

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

Vladimir Kozlov does not receive proper medical care in prison

Vladimir Kozlov does not receive proper medical care in prison

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

The life of human rights defender Vadim Kuramshin is in danger

The life of human rights defender Vadim Kuramshin is in danger

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.

Aleksandr Bozhenko’s case

Aleksandr Bozhenko’s case

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

Kazakhstan: society criticises the draft of the new criminal law

Kazakhstan: society criticises the draft of the new criminal law

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.

Vladimir Kozlov transferred to the Kazahstani Siberia

Vladimir Kozlov transferred to the Kazahstani Siberia

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

Criminal prosecution of Askar Moldashev

Criminal prosecution of Askar Moldashev

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.

Human rights defender Asel Nurgaziyeva incarcerated for 12 days

Human rights defender Asel Nurgaziyeva incarcerated for 12 days

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.

Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan: Wind of change

Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan: Wind of change

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).

First Monitoring Report Documents Violations in Kozlov Trial

First Monitoring Report Documents Violations in Kozlov Trial

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

Press announcement

Press announcement

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’

“The Kazakhstan insider” bulletin, Vol. 6

“The Kazakhstan insider” bulletin, Vol. 6

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.

Monitoring of the pre-election situation in the Republic of Kazakhstan 28.12.2011-03.01.2012

Monitoring of the pre-election situation in the Republic of Kazakhstan 28.12.2011-03.01.2012

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 […]

2nd European Congress on Human Rights

2nd European Congress on Human Rights

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.

“The Kazakhstan insider” bulletin, Vol. 1

“The Kazakhstan insider” bulletin, Vol. 1

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.

Pavol Stracansky “Workers Fight Massive Crackdown”

Pavol Stracansky “Workers Fight Massive Crackdown”

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.