ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2014.09.02

View Adopted: 2019.07.26

Dilnar Isenova v. Kazakhstan

Arbitrary limitation on the right to peaceful assembly in Kazakhstan

Substantive Issues
  • Fair trial
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of opinion
Relevant Articles
  • Article 19.2
  • Article 21
Full Text


The author is a Kazakh national who claims to be a violation of articles 14 (1), 14 (3) (d) and (g), 19 (2) and 21 of the Covenant. 

In September 2013, the author was apprehended by police for distributing invitations to a meeting for homeless people. After her apprehension, she was not allowed access to a lawyer. She was charged and found guilty of disturbing invitations for an unauthorised meeting and sentenced to a fine. Later appeals to higher domestic authorities were rejected.  


The Committee noted that the State party did not attempt to demonstrate that the apprehension, trial and imposition of a sanction on the author for organization of a peaceful assembly was 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, as required under article 21 of the Covenant. The Committee therefore concludes that the State party has violated article 21 of the Covenant. The Committee found similar reasoning for article 19(2).


The Committee noted that the state party is under an obligation to provide the author with an effective remedy, including adequate compensation and reimbursement for all legal costs incurred.

  • The state party is also requested to take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. 
  • The state party must also 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, including spontaneous, assemblies, meetings, processions, pickets and demonstrations, may be fully enjoyed.


The Committee requested that the state party provide an update on measures taken to give effective to its views within 180 days, or before 26 January 2020.

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