ICCPR Case Digest

CCPR/C/126/D/2311/2013

Communication

2311/2013

Submission: 2013.05.13

View Adopted: 2019.07.25

Bakhytzhan Toregozhina v. Kazakhstan

Arbitrary restriction on the right to peaceful assembly in Kazahkstan

Substantive Issues
  • Exhaustion of domestic remedies
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Non-discrimination
  • Right of peaceful assembly
Relevant Articles
  • Article 2 - OP1
  • Article 21
  • Article 26
  • Article 5.2 (b) - OP1
Full Text

Facts

The author is a Kazak national and the head of an NGO "Ar. Rukh. Khak." who claims that the state party has violated her rights under article 21 of the Covenant, due to their enforcing of a prohibition on peaceful assemblies.

In March 2012 the author submitted an application to the Akimat of Almaty, requesting permission to hold a peaceful assembly on the theme of "100 days after the shooting of people in Zhanaozen". She recieved a written reply 5 days later, whereby the authorities declined her request due to failing to provide a number of administrative details. The authorities continued to reject further applications, until it reached the Supreme Court whom rejected the application as "unfounded".

Merits

The Committee noted that while the requirement for authorisation can be important for smooth public operations, it cannot become an end in itself and cannot be used to limit peaceful assembly. In this case, the Committee found that authorities' reluctance to let the author hold an event in any of 30 suggested locations discloses a violation of the author's rights under article 21, read alone and in conjunction with article 26 of the Covenant. 

Recommendations

The Committee requested the state party to provide the author with an effective remedy, including making full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated. This included requesting the state party: 

  • take appropriate steps to provide the author with adequate compensation and reimbursement of any legal costs incurred by her;

  • take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring again in the future;

  • review its legislation, in particular the Law on the Procedure for the Organization and Conduct of Peaceful Assemblies, Meetings, Processions, Pickets and Demonstrations, as well as the decisions of local executive bodies adopted pursuant to that Law;

  • publish the present Views and to have them widely disseminated in the official languages of the State party.

Implementation

The Committee requested the state party to provide an update on the measures taken to give effect to its views within 180 days, or prior to 25 January 2020.

Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee

Rules of Procedure of the Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/3/Rev.10

Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

CCPR NGO Participation

Documents adopted by the Human Rights Committee (March 2012)

English | French | Spanish | Russian | Handbook

CCPR NHRI Participation

Documents adopted by the Human Rights Committee (November 2012)

English | French | Spanish | Russian | Arabic | Chinese