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The court started to examine a claim of public to government of Kazakhstan



The first meeting of Astana town court practically took place in capital of Kazakhstan on suit of three public organizations in case of government’s inactions.


The suit statement about inaction of the authority which was filed on June 19th in 2008 was taken to consideration only at December past year, when there were no sewn on deep reasons for sediment of consideration.


The reason of precedent for Kazakhstan suit has served a situation which was established around the settlement Berezovka (West Kazakhstan area), entered in zone of the oilfield mastering by the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO) international consortium (it is included such oil giants as Ani, British gas, Chevron, Lukoil). Itself the oilfield was opened in 1979; however active work began only in 1997 after transfer it in KPO.


From that moment the problems began beside inhabitants of the settlement Berezovka (approximately 1,4 thousand people). However, from oil-extractors had got whole surrounding nature but that settlement turned out to be in sanitary-defensive zone where is not allowed residence of the people – already direct breach of Kazakhstan legislation. Output was founded quickly. The Main sanitary physician of the country has with the own hands cancelled the former decision of the Ministry of Health from 2002, installing sanitary-defensive zone in 5000 metres, and has confirmed the new regulations – in 3000 metres, so Berezovka turned out to be outside from the zones of the oilfield mastering.


On side of the local inhabitants emerged several deputies of the Lower Chamber of the Parliament, repeatedly raised question about inhabitant’s transmigration: Uralsk nature conservation prosecutor, Prosecutor office on Burlin region, the Ministry of guard surrounding ambiences of Kazakhstan and General prosecutor of RK, had put in 2006 the protest to the actions by the main sanitary physician. But all these locations had outweighed the decision of regional management guard surrounding ambiences about that, that there is no dangerous contamination in Berezovka and the level to morbidity “the lowest in region”, though earlier state nature contravention organs considered that contamination surrounding ambiences greatly exceeds the possible threshold. So there is no necessity to resettle the people. With this suspicious quickly agreed all state structures in whose duties was to keep a check on observance Kazakhstan people’s interests.


When inhabitants of Berezovka had understood that the state has got up on oil extractor’s side, they addressed to human rights protectors.


Members of the public ecological motion “Green salvation”, lawyers of Kazakhstan International Bureau of Human Rights and Rule of Law and verged later movement “Shanyrak” had immediately found row of the breaches. The most important motive, on the grounds which is possible to accuse the Government of Kazakhstan in inaction, became the self-willed decision about changing the sanitary-defensive zone. It’s straightly disagreed to the Aarhus Convention about accessing to information, the participation of public in the process of making the decision and access for justice on questions, concerning surrounding ambiences, which Kazakhstan ratified in 2000. In 2004 and 2006 activists of the “Green salvation” movement twice obtained the confessions that Kazakhstan doesn’t keep that requirements by this convention – moreover in deals not in accordance with problem in Berezovka.


– “Government did not check theirs own Ministries and departments, – considers Sergei Skuratov, the leader of “Green salvation”. Besides, “at the signing the Aarhus convention the Government undertook the obligation and this is not the first breach by the Kazakhstan” – noted ecologist on press-conference, called together with the Bureau of human rights and the “Shanyrak” movement.


– It’s necessary to acknowledge the conclusion void by the main physician and oblige the Government to take measures on sanitary-defensive zone reconstruction, transmigration of people and compensation payments, – marked Sergei Skuratov public organizations’ requirements who took for decision of the situations around Berezovka.


– All that events within the framework of submission the legal claims to the state extremely important for us – united with him Evgeniy Zhovtis, the director of Kazakhstan International Bureau of Human Rights and Rule of Law. – The citizen has to use the equal rights with the state. It’s interesting how the court will consider this deal, how the state will feel? It’s very hard to make the Court consider the suits against the state, because it’s like a part of state. On essences, this is a litmus paper. Though, breaches are obvious. The Court must oblige the Government to do something.


However, as noted E. Zhovtis, the Court is in a complicated way to force to consider the suits against the state”. It was already spoken about that that judicial organs of Astana for about half of a year delayed consideration of the deal under miscellaneous pretexts. And first judicial meeting appointed on January 26th came off because of defendant’s absence, Government’s representatives. Together with that, the Court had some claims to plaintiffs – on judicial meeting presented not all of them. In response to this on press-conferences Y. Usov demonstrated the envelope with notice of one of the plaintiffs. The notice had the stamp with the mark of the January 19th but on postal stamp is marked already 21st date. In the other words, interested persons had got the notice after the judicial meeting beginning. Next time the Court must be going at the end of the January.


It’s became known that except suit three complaints had directed to Government by the human rights protectors in respect of region pollution’s result of the oil field development . And on the end of the January state locations promised to give theirs final analysis.


Published in «Voice of Freedom in Central Asia


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