Appeal on inadmissibility of extradition from Spain of Alexander Pavlov




Mr.Juan Karlos I, King of Spain  

Mr. José Manuel García-Margallo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Mr. Jorge Fernández Díaz, Minister of Interior

Mr.Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament


Ms. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy


Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights


Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission


Mr. Nils Muižnieks, EU Commissioner for Human Rights


Mr. António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


General Secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organization “Interpol”



The Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (hereinafter KIBHR&RL) would like to draw the attention of the Spanish authorities to impermissibility of Alexander Pavlov’s extradition to Kazakhstan.

On December 11, 2012 Alexandr Pavlov, head of security service for Mukhtar Ablyazov, a banker and opposition politician, was arrested in Spain upon the issuance of a “red notice” by Interpol dated 23.05.2012 in which it was stated that he is wanted in Kazakhstan for embezzlement of property. Indeed Kazakhstan charges him with preparing for terrorist acts, with all accusations based exceptionally on testimony of an undisclosed witness, whose statements had been circulated in state owned media during a large-scale information campaign. Meanwhile, Kazakh special services have not presented any proof that Pavlov was the person behind planning and financing of terrorist acts that never occurred.

           Given the political context of Alexandr Pavlov’s prosecution resulting from the determination of the Kazakh authorities to extradite Mukhtar Ablyazov, presently detained in France, KIBHR&RL expresses concern that after return to motherland Alexander Pavlov may end up convicted for unproven terrorist activities and may also be tortured to elicit testimony incriminating Mukhtar Ablyazov.

KIBHR, being involved in torture prevention activity since 1996 and acting as Coordinator of Kazakhstan NGOs Coalition against Torture since 2007, carries out continuous monitoring of the right not to be subject of torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment, which shows that ill-treatment is a common practice used by law enforcement agencies in their work. In spite of some positive legislative changes on torture prevention issues, KIBHR&RL in its daily activities faces cases when people are forced to self-incriminate or give testimony against third parties. According to the statistics of the Prosecutor General’s Office in 2012 and 6 months of 2013 Prosecutors’ office has opened 62 criminal cases on torture. In the meantime, Coalition of NGOs of Kazakhstan Against Torture received 201 complaints about torture and other forms of cruel treatment in 6 months of 2013 alone.

Presence of torture in Kazakhstan has been confirmed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Mr. Manfred Novac, who, following his visit to Kazakhstan in 2009 has concluded that “use of torture and ill-treatment in Kazakhstan certainly goes beyond instances”. Regrettably, the situation has not changed since: torture remains to be one the instruments of eliciting confessions used by Kazakhstani investigators. The European Human Rights Court has already delivered 2 decisions regarding cancellation of extradition to Kazakhstan of its citizens – Amir Kabulov and Veronika Efimova in 2010, based on the threat that torture may be used upon return.

The provisions of the UN Convention on the refugee status, and Spain is a member, has non-refoulement principle for citizens of countries where their life and liberty can be threatened. Considering that a politically motivated trial awaits A. Pavlov in Kazakhstan, more likely to be held behind closed doors and where he may be tortured to obtain a false confession, KIBHR&RL believes that Alexandr Pavlov’s extradition will constitute violation of the Convention.

It is in this regard that the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law believes A. Pavlov’s extradition to the Kazakh authorities is impermissible and inconsistent with the status of a European state upholding international human right and freedoms norms.

Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law is non-commercial human rights NGO acting since 1993. KIBHR&RL is a member of the Civic Solidarity Platform since 2011 and a member of the International Federation for Human Rights since 2013.

The activities of the KIBHR&RL are recognized internationally which is proven by awards, namely USA and European Union Democracy and Civil Society Award in 1998, 1999 International League for Human Rights Award, 2004 European Union Human Rights Prize, 2005 International Helsinki Federation Recognition Award, 2007 Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Human Rights Award (Germany), 2010 Andrey Sakharov Award of Norwegian Helsinki Committee, the Ombudsman’s of Poland Medal For Merits for Human Rights Protection in 2013.

November 19, 2013


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