Kazakhstan: civil society calls on the authorities to put a stop to the wave of harassment and detention of peaceful demonstrators

©Steve Evans/What does the future hold?/CC BY-NC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/Wv8X

Following the mass arbitrary restrictions of rights and freedoms of the people by state representatives in Nur-Sultan and Almaty on 9 and 10 June 2019, 48 civil society representatives urgently call on the authorities of Kazakhstan to:

  • Put an immediate end to arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of individuals, in particular young people, as such acts by state officials violate Kazakhstan’s international obligations under the International Convention for the protection of all persons against enforced disappearances, which was ratified by Kazakhstan in 2006.
  • Ensure that all those detained on 9 and 10 June 2019 are given immediate access to the lawyer of their choice, as guaranteed by the Constitution of Kazakhstan (Article 13) and other legislation (Article 20 of the Administrative Code);
  • Ensure that those people detained are presumed innocent until found guilty, as guaranteed by Article 77 of the Constitution of the Republic, as without the right for the appeal of detainees took out of borders of the capital in defiance of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Ensure that those detained are not subjected to torture or ill-treatment and investigate reports that detainees in Nur-Sultan, including children, were held for up to 20-hours in various police buildings without access to food or water, a place to sleep, adequate seating (people were forced to stand) all of which violate the provisions of the UN Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of 10.12.1984 (further Convention against Torture).
  • Publish a complete list of the names of those people detained on 9 and 10 June, including those detainees who were transferred from by Nur-Sultan to nearby settlements in Arshaly (60 km from the capital), Temirtau (236 km from the capital), Akkol (100 km from the capital), Stepnogorsk (195 km from capital), and Kokshetau (300 km from the capital). The transferred detainees have been effectively held in incommunicado detention as they were not able to communicate with the outside world. This is a serious violation of one of the basic principles the Convention against Torture.
  • Cease the practice of holding court hearings at night and in police buildings as these violate the minimum guarantees of fair judicial proceedings by restricting publicity and transparency. This practice also violates the Syracuse principles of interpretation of restrictions and derogations from provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Read the full document here.