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Information note on the situation with the right to the freedom from torture as a result of the events in Kazakhstan in early January 2022

19.01.2022

As of today, the Coalition has registered 24 reports of torture or other types of ill-treatment: in Almaty – 6, in Atyrau – 3, in Shymkent – 2, in Karaganda – 1, in Taraz – 3, in Aqtobe – 2, in Uralsk – 2, in Kostanay – 1, in Oskemen – 3, and in Semey – 1. 

From those, 19 were reported to have been committed against men (1 underage) and 5 women.

As of 19 January 2022, the Coalition can state the following:

  1. The exact number of killed, wounded, or otherwise hurt civilians including casualties remain unknown.
  2. There have been reports from lawyers and NPM monitors about the wounded arrestees without proper medical care.
  3. The whereabouts of those arrested on charges related to the attempt on the fundamentals of the Constitutional structure and security of the state and charges of terrorism remain unknown.
  4. Not all arrested individuals have been able to connect with their families or access their lawyers within the time limit stipulated in the law.
  5. Many arrestees based on theirs or their relatives’ or lawyers’ words were subjected to beatings and humiliation by members of various state related force structures in places of detention. The Coalition will make all efforts to unveil each case. 
  6. Not all detained arrestees who were subjected to beatings by state representatives are ready to report their cases publicly, especially those who do not deny their involvement in disorders, obviously fearing repression. 
  7. As of today, there are no known cases of criminal investigation under the Criminal Code article on torture following the January events. People are being recommended to report cases of so-called police arbitrariness to the internal security departments of police. There is no independent torture investigation body in Kazakhstan.

The Coalition reminds that cases of torture, cruel, inhuman, or derogatory treatment on behalf of the law enforcement or other force structures, or other related structures or persons can be reported to [contact information of the Coalition of Torture member-organizations]. 

The Coalition is ready to provide legal and psychological assistance to the victims (or reported victims) of torture and other types of ill-treatment. Coalition of NGOs of Kazakhstan Against Torture reminds that the right to the freedom from torture is an absolute right that may not be restricted under any circumstances including under the state of emergency.