ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2014.06.12

View Adopted: 2018.10.25

Berik Zhagiparov v. Kazakhstan

Journalist Advocating for Workers' Rights Illegally Detained in Kazakhstan

Substantive Issues
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of expression
Relevant Articles
  • Article 14
  • Article 19
  • Article 2
  • Article 21
  • Article 9
Full Text


The author was the editor of a regional newspaper and advocate for the rights and interests of the local population in the city of Zhezkazgan as well as workers at the city's largest industrial plant, which is owned by Kazakhmys Corporation. In mid-March 2012, the chairman of the board of directors of Kazakhmys complained to local government officials that the paper was causing social unrest in the region. As a result, his publication's newspaper license was withdrawn, then public access to its website was suspended. The author appealed these decisions to no avail. Before the publication's suspension, the author publicized and attended an organized rally near the offices of Kazakhmys. The author was then arrested and found guilty by a local court of organizing an unsanctioned rally and sentenced to seven days of administrative arrest. The author filed several appeals, all of which were denied. In May 2013, the author attended a public gathering as a journalist in Astana. He was found guilty that day of participating in an unsanctioned public gathering and sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest. All of the author's appeals for this arrest were denied. The author then appealed both of his arrests together and was denied by the Deputy General Prosecutor.


The Committee considered that the author had sufficiently substantiated his claim under articles 9, 14, 19 and 21 of the Covenant, read in conjunction with article 2, for the purposes of admissibility. Accordingly, it declared this part of the communication admissible and proceeded with its consideration of the merits.


The Committee, acting under article 5 (4) of the Optional Protocol, is of the view that the facts before it disclosed a violation by the State party of articles 9 (1), 14 (3) (c) and (5), 19 (2) and 21 of the Covenant, read alone and in conjunction with article 2 (3).


In accordance with article 2 (3) (a) of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated with an effective remedy in the form of full reparation.

Accordingly, the State party is obligated to, inter alia,:

  • review Mr. Zhagiparov’s convictions and provide him with adequate compensation and appropriate measures of satisfaction.
  • The State party is also under an obligation to take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. In that regard, it should review its legislation with a view to ensuring that the rights under articles 19 and 21 of the Covenant may be fully enjoyed in the State party. 


Deadline for Implementation: end of April 2019

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