KAZAKHSTAN INTERNATIONAL BUREAU FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW

Torture and ill-treatment in Central Asia (Joint statement for OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2017)

The organizations are calling on the relevant authorities to take immediate action to prevent torture, punish the perpetrators and provide reparation including fair and adequate compensation to the victims.

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The danger of speaking out – recent trends in Central Asia

The following written statement has been prepared for the 2017 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.

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Right of Defence #10

A quarterly electronic bulletin dedicated to the situation in Kazakhstan in relation to those who defends the rights of other members of society. This issue covers the situation in April-June 2017.

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Calling for an End to Torture in Central Asia on International Anti-Torture Day

On 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Coalitions against Torture in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as well as the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights and International Partnership for Human Rights are calling on the authorities of all five Central Asian countries to prevent torture, punish the perpetrators and provide reparation including compensation to the victims.

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In Kazakhstan the right to form and join trade unions is grossly violated and working activists are subjected to persecution

We call on the authorities to release Nurbek Kushakbayev and Amin Yeleusinov, to terminate the criminal case against Larisa Kharkova, to revise the Law on Trade Unions which does not meet international standards and obligations of Kazakhstan in the framework of the conventions of International Labour Organisation and, in general, its attitude towards non-commercial organisations.

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UN decisions set important precedents in view of unrelenting rights violations

During this period, UN human rights bodies announced two important, precedent-setting decisions with respect to the exercise of fundamental freedoms in Kazakhstan. At the same time, the pattern of criminal prosecution of critical voices continued, with charges of economic crimes, “incitement” of discord and defamation being used for retaliatory purposes.

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Working Conditions and Ethnic Relations Ignored in Kazakhstan

Social tensions boiled in Kazakhstan as three died in a coal mine and hundreds of workers and locals fought in Astana.

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The World Expo and Human Rights in Kazakhstan

In 2016, Kazakhstan hosted the World Expo. Held in the capital, Astana, the event cost the government upward of $1 billion, boasted booths from more than 100 countries and an impressive list of attendees. This spending alone, when nearly half the population survives on $70 a month, can be considered damning for human rights in Kazakhstan.

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22nd known 2017 criminal conviction

Sunni Imam Abdukhalil Abduzhabbarov was jailed for eight years for inciting religious hatred "with serious consequences", charges he denied. He is the 22nd individual convicted in 2017. Seven others jailed have failed in their appeals. One of two criminal cases against atheist Aleksandr Kharlamov has been closed.

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Opposition newspaper editor freed, but banned from journalism

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regards the sentence as a politically-motivated attempt to silence one of Kazakhstan’s few remaining critical voices.

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