A group of representatives of Kazakh human rights and civic organisations produced the first list of persons considered to be political prisoners in
The first list of political prisoners includes:
Aaron Atabek – sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment in 2006.
Vladimir Kozlov – sentenced to 7.5 years’ imprisonment in 2012.
RozaTuletayeva – sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment in 2012.
MaksatDosmagambetov – sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment in 2012.
Vadim Kuramshin – sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment in 2012.
AleksandrKharlamov – currently in custody, awaiting trial.
Aaron Atabek, a poet, a singer, a renowned Kazakh civic activist, a dissident. Known since 1991 for his critical statements made against the government. On 14 July, 2006, approximately 1 thousand police officers tried to storm the Shanyrak district in order to destroy 155 houses (squatter settlements). In the conflict between regional migrants, defending their homes, and the police, a police officer suffered fatal burns. On 17 July, 2006, Aaron Atabek was summoned for questioning as a witness, but he was not released from the building of the Chief Directorate of Internal Affairs. Aaron Atabek’s involvement inthedeathof the police officer was notproven, however, hewas subsequently recognisedastheorganiserof theriotsandsentencedto 18 yearsinprison.
Vladimir Kozlov – the leader of the opposition party ‘Alga’. In 2011, oil workers in the west of
RozaTuletayeva – human rights activist, was actively engaged in the defence of the rights of oil workers who had gone on strike in western
Maksat Dosmagambetov – is one of the leaders of oil workers; during the strike, he represented the strikers in
Vadim Kuramshin – a civil rights activist, who defended the rights of prisoners and made public instances of ill-treatment and torture of prisoners carried out by prison staff and police officers,collected and disseminated information on corruption and extortion in prisons, police forces, national security bodies and the prosecutor’s office with some of the information causing a serious public outcry. Hearings in the case of Vadim Kuramshin were conducted under numerous violations, including those involving a court-appointed attorney, who did not have the trust of Kuramshin. In August 2012, he was released from custody having been acquitted in his criminal case by a jury; however, after his public speech at a Supplementary Public Dimension Meeting of the OSCE in
Aleksandr Kharlamov – a journalist, the head of the human rights centre ‘Secret Service’. Atheistic articles on the journalist’s blog served as a reason for his arrest, as the police qualified them as bearing signs of incitement to religious hatred. The decision of the investigator reads: “Over a period of time, undetermined by the prosecution, A.M. Kharlamov, having studied world religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, has given his own interpretation of religious systems.” Over many years, Aleksandr Kharlamov published his articles in two local newspapers: ‘Ridderskiy Vestnik’ and ‘Flash!’; shedding light on human rights violations and corruption in local government. Recently, Kharlamov has been found sane on the basis of forced psychological and psychiatric examinations and is currently in custody, awaiting trial.
By publishing this list of political prisoners, which is not exhaustive, we call on Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, Front Line Defenders and other reputable human rights organisations to recognise the persons listed as political prisoners on an international level and to hold an international campaign in their defence. We are making our own efforts to free our political prisoners, but still, we believe that international support is a crucial step in the fight for the liberation of political prisoners in