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Voices of Kazakhstan #1: pre-election review of human rights situation

Voices of Kazakhstan #1: pre-election review of human rights situation

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.