Tag - Kazakhstan ( 24 )

News | “Kazakhstan should release rights defenders Bokayev and Ayan” – UN experts

Dec 06 2016

GENEVA / WARSAW – UN human rights experts* today called on Kazakhstan to immediately release human rights defenders Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayan, who are currently in jail for organizing peaceful demonstrations. The two rights defenders were sentenced in November to five years in prison for ‘inciting social discord’, ‘disseminating information known to be false’, and ‘violating the procedure for holding assemblies’. They were also banned from engaging in public activities for three years after serving their sentences for their roles in organizing protests in April and May 2016 to oppose the proposed amendments to Kazakhstan’s land code. “Not only the legal process against Mr. Bokayev and Mr. Ayan raised serious questions about its fairness, but also the charges brought against them essentially criminalized their rights to peaceful assembly and free expression of dissenting views,” the experts said. “The rights defenders, Max and Talgat, should have never faced prosecution for exercising their rights,” they said. “Such prosecution, reportedly tainted with procedural and due process violations, runs counter to Kazakhstan’s international commitments on human rights, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” The experts further called the... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 7 (Issue 24) – October-November 2016

Nov 14 2016

Issue No. 24 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • In final presentation to UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur reflects on time in mandate; warns that situation for civil society remains ‘precarious’ • Corporate power undermining workers’ assembly and association rights, Kiai warns • Litigation project: Developments in cases in Kazakhstan, Brazil and USA • UN experts urge India to release prominent Kashmiri human rights defender • Democratic Republic of Congo: experts urge end to ‘unjustified’ ban on protests • Ethiopia: call for international investigation into systematic violence against protesters • Maina Kiai’s Foreword to the Civic Charter: the Framework for People’s Participation • Experts blast Kenya for excessive force against anti-corruption protesters • Mauritania: UN experts concerned about situation of jailed rights activists • Egypt NGO law: Special Rapporteur Kiai warns about growing restrictions on civil society • Iran: UN expert Shaheed calls for the immediate release of dual nationals • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in... Continue reading →

News | Kazakhstan: Special Rapporteur analyzes case of protester on trial for ‘unauthorized’ assembly

Oct 29 2016

GENEVA – Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has submitted a legal analysis in the case of Kazakhstan protester Max Bokayev, who is currently on trial for participating in an unauthorized assembly in April 2016. Bokayev, who heads the local NGO Arlan, stands charged under Kazakh domestic law of inciting social discord, distribution of knowingly false statements and violation of the procedure to organize and conduct meetings, rallies, pickets, marches and demonstrations. He is currently on trial in Altyrau City Court. The Special Rapporteur’s analysis was submitted to the Kazakh NGO Dignity – which is helping with Bokayev’s defense – though the Special Rapporteur has invited the organization to share the legal arguments with the Court “to facilitate a clear interpretation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly as understood in international law, standards and principles as guaranteed under the constitution of Kazakhstan.” The Special Rapporteur was unable to submit a formal amicus curiae brief in the case due to time constraints. The analysis addresses five discrete areas of law relevant to the case: The application of international law in the courts of Kazakhstan; the sanctioning of peaceful participation in an unauthorized assembly; the imposition of sanctions for failure to... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Issue 21) – May-June 2016

Jun 21 2016

Issue No. 21 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Kiai tells Human Rights Council that fundamentalist intolerance is degrading assembly & association rights • Kenya: UNSR tells court that 2015 protest ban violated assembly rights • Contribute to the UNSR’s next report: FoAA rights in the context of labor • Human rights must gain new momentum at World Humanitarian Summit • Problem of closing civic space creeps into UN NGO Committee • Rapporteurs urge India to repeal law restricting NGO’s access to foreign funding • UN expert deplores harsh sentencing of Tajikistan opposition leaders and warns of radicalization • Egypt: Worsening crackdown on protests • UN human rights experts urge Cambodia to stop attacks against civil society • Iran: Denial of adequate medical treatment to political prisoners unacceptable • ‘A travesty of justice’ – UN experts condemn conviction of prominent Iran activist • China: Newly adopted Foreign NGO Law should be repealed, UN experts urge • Somalia: Experts alarmed over growing persecution against trade unionists • Kazakhstan clampdown on land reform... Continue reading →

News | UN human rights experts urge Kazakhstan to halt clampdown on land reform protesters

May 12 2016

GENEVA –  United Nations human rights experts, including Maina Kiai, today called on the Government of Kazakhstan to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression after mass arrests, detention and criminal prosecutions following demonstrations over proposed land reforms across the country. Peaceful protests took place last week in six Kazakh cities in response to amendments adopted on the land law governing the rights of foreigners to rent agricultural land in the country. Protesters contend that the changes, which include an increase of such leases from 10 to 25 years, could facilitate the sale of land to the detriment of Kazakh citizens and landowners. “Arrests, detention and criminal prosecutions are being used to deter and punish those protesting and expressing their voices against the land law,” the UN experts noted. “The Government must immediately end all forms of persecution and take effective measures to protect civil society.” The UN experts were alarmed by criminal cases brought against some protestors and human rights defenders for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. The criminal charges being used to target protestors and human rights defenders, include the ‘kindling of social discord’ under... Continue reading →

Report | Kazakhstan communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2016

Feb 28 2016

This page summarizes cases raised with Kazakhstan by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2016 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Kazakhstan. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) - the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Kazakhstan, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) Joint urgent appeal, 28/7/2011. Case no. KAZ 2/2011. State Reply: 17/9/2011. Alleged detention of human rights defender and trade unionist. Joint urgent appeal, 13/1/2012. Case no. KAZ 5/2011. State Reply: None to date. Allegations of widespread acts of violence and excessive use of force against protesters in... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 2, No. 7 (Issue 16) – October 2015

Nov 03 2015

Issue No. 16 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Kiai calls on Chile to eliminate “vestiges of dictatorship” detrimental to assembly rights • UNSR presents report to General Assembly, urges States to promote civil society by elevating its treatment to the same level as business • Experts urge Latin America and Caribbean: adopt trend-setting environmental agreement • UN expert urges Angola to release 14 activists detained for criticizing Government • Draft law threatens independence and existence of Kazakh NGOs, Kiai warns • Heyns and Kiai wrap up consultations for recommendations on facilitating assemblies • Freedom of association and assembly: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief: October 2015 • World briefing: Freedom of assembly and association in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (3.4MB file) or here (5.4MB full resolution file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent newsletters, see the links below: The Assembly and Association Briefing,... Continue reading →

News | New draft law threatens the independence and existence of NGOs in Kazakhstan, warns UN rights expert

Oct 15 2015

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, today warned that Kazakhstan’s Bill amending the Law on Non-profit organizations “may not only compromise the independence of associations, but challenge their very existence.” The draft law establishes an operator with the right to allocate both governmental and non-governmental grants, including grants from international organizations, diplomatic missions or international not-for-profit organizations, to non-governmental organizations. “The possibility for a centralized Government’s operator to distribute all grants irrespective of sources, be it public or private funds, enables the authorities to arbitrarily limit resources and to control the entire not-for-profit sector,” Mr. Kiai cautioned. “By controlling the sources of funds, the draft law would limit associations’ functional autonomy and put their independence and existence at serious risk.” “Access to financial resources is an integral and vital part of the right to freedom of association,” the expert underscored. The new legislative amendments were adopted by the Senate on 8 October 2015. The text would now be with the Lower House of the Parliament for its final consideration and it may be... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 2, No. 6 (Issue 15) – September 2015

Sep 18 2015

Issue No. 15 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • UN releases Kiai’s next report to the General Assembly: Comparing States’ treatment of business and civil society • Mexico: Special Rapporteur weighs in on case challenging constitutionality of protest laws • ‘Stop the erosion of democracy’ – UN experts urge Governments across the world • Peaceful protest recommendations project: Asia and Africa meetings • Ecuador: UN and IACHR experts condemn moves to dissolve prominent organization • Mauritania: UN rights expert urges repeal of NGO Bill that threatens civil society • Human rights defender stories from Kazakhstan, Burundi and Azerbaijan • Freedom of association and assembly: By the numbers - sectoral equity edition • Special Rapporteur news in brief: July-August 2015 • World briefing: Freedom of assembly and association in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (1.5MB file) or here (4.5MB full resolution file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent... Continue reading →

News | UN expert raises alarm as Kazakhstan jails twice a rights defender for convening a peaceful assembly

Sep 01 2015

GENEVA – United Nations human rights expert Maina Kiai today called on the Kazakhstan authorities to immediately release and drop all charges against civil society activist Ermek Narymbaev, and to end what appears to be the criminalization of peaceful protests. “Public dissent is a hallmark of a democracy and a confident state”, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association said, expressing concern at the arrest and detention - for the second time this year- of lawyer and human rights defender Ermek Narymbaev for his role in convening a peaceful assembly and denouncing corruption cases. “Civil society actors are key players in securing sustainable human rights protection. It is essential that they can operate freely, online as well as offline, Mr. Kiai said. During both of his trials in June and August 2015, Mr. Narymbaev was found guilty of ‘organizing an unauthorized public event’ in violation of the New Code on Administrative Offenses that regulates peaceful assemblies, rallies, marches, pickets and demonstrations. “The New Code contains provisions that are contrary to both Kazakhstan’s constitution and international human rights law that Kazakhstan has ratified”, Mr. Kiai stated. “I am also seriously concerned about Mr.... Continue reading →