ICCPR Case Digest
View Adopted: 2017.03.21
Zhaslan Suleimenov v. Kazakhstan
- Conditions of detention
- Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
- Prompt and impartial investigation
- Torture / ill-treatment
- Article 10
- Article 14
- Article 18
- Article 2.3
- Article 7
- Article 9
The author is a national of Kazakhstan and he is a disabled person on a wheelchair. He traveled to Russia in January 2009 for medical treatment and was then arrested by police officers. He was detained and questioned in different places and occasions until he was extradited to Kazakhstan. The author claims having been subjected to beatings, torture and other forms of ill-treatment during that period, including solitary confinement as a form of punishment. The domestic court rejected his claim, and according to him an appeal could not be submitted because he did not receive a copy of the first instance decision, and his transfers to different detention facilities prevented him from lodging an appeal.
The author claims to be a victim of a violation by Kazakhstan of his rights under article 7, read in conjunction with articles 2, and articles 9, 10, 14 and 18, of the Covenant.
The Committee considered the claims relating to articles 14 and 18 to be inadmissible, as the author failed to sufficiently substantiate these allegations. In additional, the claims under article 9 were considered inadmissible ratione temporis as the alleged violations occurred before the entry into force of the Optional Protocol for the State party.
On the other hand, the claims raised under article 7, read separately and in conjunction with article 2(3), as well as under article 10, were declared admissible by the Committee.
The Committee considered that the State failed to justify the alleged mistreatment and therefore considerable weight was given to the arguments presented by the author.
In relation to article 7, the Committee found a violation of this provision read separately and in conjunction with article 2(3). The author stated that he was subject to torture in order to confess guilt, and that he was also beaten and prevented from using his wheelchair. These and other allegations were not promptly and impartially investigated by the State, despite the several complaints made by the author and his aunt.
The Committee also found a violation of article 10 due to the unsuitability of the prison facilities to the author’s conditions. The author was held in pre-trial detention facilities, prisons and medical facilities not suited for an individual who depends on a wheelchair for mobility. In addition, the author was deprived from pursuing meaningful activities and even from fulfilling his basic needs as he was left alone in his cell, and that being under those conditions caused bedsores in his body. Finally, the author did not have access to specialized medical treatment and medicines adequate to his condition.
In accordance with article 2 (3) (a) of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide the authors with an effective remedy.
This requires it to make full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated.
Accordingly, the State party is obligated, inter alia, to take appropriate steps:
- to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the authors’ allegations of torture and ill-treatment;
- to provide the authors with adequate compensation;
- provide the author with appropriate medical care and assistance considering his disability and medical condition, including permitting access to private doctors and nurses to examine and assist the author.
The State party is also under an obligation to take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
Deadline for implementation : 180 days - October 2017