ICCPR Case Digest

CCPR/C/125/D/2309/2013

Communication

2309/2013

Submission: 2013.07.05

View Adopted: 2019.03.29

Anar Abildayeva v. Kazakhstan

Arbitrary restriction on freedom of expression and assembly in Kazakhstan, state party unable to justify limitation on permissible grounds

Substantive Issues
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of opinion
Relevant Articles
  • Article 19
  • Article 21
  • Article 5.2 (b) - OP1
Full Text

Facts

The author is a national of Kazakhstan who claims that the state party has violated her rights under articles 19 and 21 of the Covenant. 

The author states that in June 2012 that she attended a spontaneous, urgent protest to the arrest of two prominent public figures. She argues that as the protest was a spontaneous event, no authorisation was sought from city authorities. The author was later found guilty of an administrative offence relating to the law of organisation and of peaceful assemblies, and sentenced to 10 days administrative detention. 

The author claims her unjustified arrest and sentencing violated her rights under article 19 (freedom of expression) and 21 (freedom of association) of the Covenant. 

Merits

The Committee noted that it has dealt with very similar cases in the past with respect to the same laws. The Committee further noted that it is for the State party to demonstrate that the imposition of administrative detention is necessary in a democratic society and proportionate to the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

In this instance, the Committee found the lack of justification for the limitation by the state party meant the actions were in violation of articles 19 and 21 of the Covenant.

Recommendations

Pursuant to article 2 (3) (a) of the Covenant, the State party is under an obligation to provide the author 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 to:

  • provide the author with adequate compensation, including reimbursement for any legal costs incurred by her.
  • take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. In that connection, the Committee reiterates that, pursuant to its obligations under article 2 (2) of the Covenant, the State party should review its legislation with a view to ensuring that the rights under articles 19 and 21 of the Covenant, including the right to organize and conduct peaceful assemblies, meetings, processions, pickets and demonstrations, may be fully enjoyed in the State party.

Implementation

The Committee requested that the state party provide an update of the measures taken to implement its views within 180 days, of by 29 September 2019.

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