On October 16, 2020, two letters signed by twenty-four MEPs representing 14 EU Member States addressed Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in the context of the extremely worrying human rights trend in the country.
- Reforms in Ukraine
- Persecution of lawyers
- "Meal For a Doctor" campaign
- Vlad Plahotniuc
- Freedom of speech
- Nursultan Nazarbayev
- Human rights
- Igor Vinyavskiy
- Humanitarian aid
- Oppression of the opposition
- Vladimir Kozlov
- Bolat Atabayev
- Vadim Kuramshin
- Alexandr Pavlov
- Mukhtar Ablyazov
- Muratbek Ketebayev
- Election observation
- Alma Shalabayeva
- Tatyana Paraskevich
- Zaure Akpenbetova
- Election monitoring
- Ukrainian World
- Oleg Sentsov
- Nadiya Savchenko
- Zinaida Mukhortova
- Rafis Kashapov
- Nadia Savchenko
- Bota Jardemalie
- Rule of law in Poland
- Magnitsky Act
- Polish judiciary
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.
On March 19th 2020 a Kazakhstani political prisoner and a torture victim, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, has been released from prison. On March 3th, 2020, a court in Semey (Kazakhstan) ruled to free him on parole and under probation supervision. The decision came as a surprise since all previous release requests were rejected. During the past decade, Dzhakishev was denied the right to a fair and public trial, the right to defence, and the right to humane treatment, while the deterioration of his health was reported by international observers.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The court did not consider it necessary to take into account the fact of having already served more than two thirds of the sentence, nor the lack of penalties, the disability of the 3rd group and the deteriorating state of health of the prisoner.
Seventeen US senators wrote a letter of concern to Kazakh President Tokayev calling for the release of political prisoner Iskander Yerimbetov. The July 29 letter is a bipartisan initiative by senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez, with other signatories including Bernie Sanders and Tim Kaine.
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.
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 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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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 16 December 2017, we will witness the 6th anniversary of the Zhanaozen massacre. A few days before the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan is going to be debated and voted. It is an opportunity for us all to once again raise the issue of political prisoner
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.
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.
On Tuesday, 28 February, 2017, Members of the European Parliament hosted the Open Dialog Foundation for a debate event on the “Ukrainian Political Prisoners in Russia and occupied Crimea”, at the European Parliament – Brussels.
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
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.
More than three dozen Ukrainians continue to remain in detention for political reasons in Russia.
On Monday, 25 January 2016, during the year-opening session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian civil society gathered at an event organized by the Open Dialogue Foundation and the Kyiv Dialogue.
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.
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
Investigators refused to open a criminal case regarding the torture of the Ukrainian filmmaker and continue to contrive charges.
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.
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.
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.
Kazakhstan is party to the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.