ICCPR Implementation in Kazakhstan
Progress on torture, regression on freedom of expression
The follow-up mission allowed fruitful meeting between the Ministry of Justice and the CCPR-Centre delegation led by Mr. Kote Vardzelashvili, former Member of the Human Rights Committee
The Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR-Centre) organized a follow-up mission in Astana, Kazakhstan from the 11th to 14th April 2017, jointly with its national partner the NGO Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR), an NGO based in Almaty with several regional branches.
The objective of the follow-up mission was to ensure that the recommendations of the Committee were widely known by the different stakeholders, as well as to engage in a dialogue with the national authorities on their implementation. Specific attention was given to the recommendations selected for the follow-up procedure, namely:
- Accountability for human rights violations in connection with Zhanaozen events
- Torture and ill-treatment
- Freedom of association and participation in public life
"The objective of the follow-up mission was to ensure that the recommendations of the Committee were widely known by the different stakeholders, as well as to engage in a dialogue with the national authorities on their implementation."
Follow-mission with more than 15 meetings with officials to raise the HR Committee's concerns
The delegation of the mission was composed of Kote Vardzelashvili, former Member of the HR Committee and Patrick Mutzenberg, Director of the CCPR-Centre, who were able to meet several key State representatives, including:
- The Ombudsman, National Human Rights Center (NHRI)
- The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs
- The Chairman of the Penal System Committee under the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- The Head of Department of Criminal Police, Ministry of Internal Affairs
- The Head of Department on Internal Secrity, Ministry of Internal Affairs
- The Head of Investigation Department, Ministry of Internal Affairs
- The Chairman of the Committee on Legislation, Judicial and Legal Reform, Mazhilis (the Lower Chamber of the Parliament)
- The Head of the Committee for international Affairs, Defence and Security, Mazhilis (the Lower Chamber of the Parliament)
- The Chair of the Republican Human Rights Commission under the Presidency
- The Head of Department, General Prosecutor’s office
- The Counsellor of Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The Deputy Justice Minister, Ministry of Justice
- The Head of Department of International Law and Cooperation, Ministry of Justice
- The Director of the Institute on Legislation under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan
NGOs remain committed to monitor and follow-up on the Committee's recommendations
The delegation was also able to meet with 25 NGO representatives from all the country. This meeting allowed genuine discussions on the main concerns of NGOs related to the implementation of the Recommendations in Kazakhstan and initiate the drafting process of the NGO follow up report to be submitted to the Human Rights Committee.
More generally, the meeting was also a crucial opportunity to promote NGOs’ engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms.
A second meeting took place on Almaty on the 31 May 2017. It was attended by 20 CSOs representatives and was facilitated by Andrea Meraz, Programme Manager of the CCPR-Centre and Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Director of KIBHRL. This meeting focused on the finalisation of the follow report and the discussion of the CSO Action Plan of 50 recommendations of international human rights mechanisms to Kazakhstan.
The CSO follow-up report was submitted in June 2017 with the support of CCPR-Centre.
It is expected that the Committee will assess the measures taken by the State to implement the three priority recommendations in the upcoming sessions.