• Home
  • >
  • The Kharlamov’s case beyond Kazakhstan

The Kharlamov’s case beyond Kazakhstan


The International Partnership for Human Rights, based in Brussels, and the Human Rights Watch have issued the statements demanding the immediate release of Ridder journalist and human rights activist Alexander Kharlamov, who was arrested on March 14 and is currently located on the violent psychological and psychiatric examination in Almaty.


International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) remains concerned about the case of journalist and human rights activist Alexander Kharlamov, an anti-corruption campaigner from the east Kazakhstan city of Ridder who has been accused of hate speech merely for expressing atheist views and who  is at risk of forcible psychiatric treatment, – said in the statement of IPHR.  – IPHR calls on the Kazakhstani authorities to ensure that Alexander Kharlamov is not punished for exercising his freedom of expression and religion and that he is immediately released if there are no solid grounds for holding him” (http://www.iphronline.org/kazakhstan_20130521.html) .


A day later Human Rights Watch that attentively monitors situation around A.Kharlamov issued a statement directed to Kazakhstan authorities in defense of the arrested journalist.


In statement headed “Kazakhstan: Drop Religious Incitement Charges” (www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/21/kazakhstan-drop-religious-incitement-charges) Mihra Rittmann, Central Asia researcher, specifies that “This is hardly the first time the authorities have used criminal incitement charges to try to silence a peaceful critic. To add insult to injury, then they put him under observation in a mental institution. They should drop the charges against Kharlamov and free him immediately.”


“Subjecting Kharlamov to psychiatric observation on flimsy criminal charges, while denying his relatives and lawyer access to him, violates multiple human rights guarantees and is a throwback to the Soviet-era tactic of repression,” Rittmann added.


Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called on Kazakh authorities to amend or repeal the charge of “inciting social, national, clan, racial, or religious discord or enmity” under article 164 of the criminal code, as this provision is vague, broad, and criminalizes behavior and speech protected under international human rights law, said in the statement.


Earlier Kharlamov’s case was reported by Norwegian Fund for Religious Freedom Forum 18,  Polish human rights organization “Open dialogue” and the British Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).


Unfortunately, I suppose, that these appeals like the earlier publication will remain a voice crying in the wilderness. Once the official Astana does not respect its own citizens and is ready to imprison any of its critics, it is unlikely that there will listen to voices of the international community.

Leave a Reply