MEPs assessed the human rights situation in Kazakhstan 

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A delegation of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights conducted a fact-finding visit to Kazakhstan on 22-24 August.

Participating MEPs held meetings with the representatives of the human rights and civil rights organisations and the state officials at the highest level.

In the capital Nur-Sultan, MEPs met with Members of Majilis (the lower house of the Kazakh Parliament) and where hosted by Aigul Kuspan, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Majilis. They also held an exchange of views with representatives of the country’s government - including the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice, Minister of Information and Social Development and Minister of Energy, the Ombudswoman of Kazakhstan, and Deputy Prosecutor-General. Members also deliberated with the UN Resident Coordinator and representatives of UN Regional Cooperation Office and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In Almaty, MEPs heard from the civil society organisations focusing, on human rights developments, including the investigation into the violent turmoil in Kazakhstan in January, and constitutional reforms. They met with torture victims as well as representatives of think tanks and the academia. They also discussed media freedom and assessed an EU-funded project focusing on the matter.

They underlined Kazakhstan’s role as a reliable and stable partner in the region and a gate opener to the wider Asia. They recognised the pressure that Kazakhstan is under due to the geopolitical situation and praised the country´s compliance with the EU sanctions against the Russian Federation.

DROI MEPs welcomed the announcement of reforms by the President and expressed the importance of following now through on these political reforms and producing tangible and democratic results. At the same time, they expressed concern about signs of latest trends in the freedom of expression and the media.

Members acknowledged that while the recent removal of death penalty was a welcome development, much still remained to be done in practice regarding the protection of human rights, basic political rights, the registration of new political parties, and the media freedom, in respect of Kazakhstan’s international commitments and in light of its fresh membership of the UN Human Rights Council (2022-2024). MEPs highlighted particularly the importance of transparent, comprehensive and fair investigation into January 2022 events. They called for immediate halt to the harassment and intimidation of political and civil society activists and the release of all political prisoners, in particular Janbolat Mamai, the detained Kazakh journalist and leader of the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan and the criminal prosecution of people deceased in the course of the January events.

Quote by Christian Sagartz (EPP, Austria), Chair of the delegation

“Parliament fully supports Kazakhstan on its path towards a democratic state and offers its assistance as a potential facilitator between the civil society, new political forces and the government. Universal Human Rights apply to everyone and everywhere. We acknowledge the recent efforts of the country in order to improve democratic structures for their citizens. We will follow them thoroughly and expect a fast implementation. We call for the rapid publication of the findings of the investigation into the January events, in order for Kazakhstan to be credible to its Citizens as well as the International Community.”

Composition of the delegation

Chair of the delegation: Christian Sagartz (EPP, Austria), Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, Spain), Silvia Sardone (ID, Italy) and Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR, Poland).

Contact

Office of delegation Chair Christian Sagartz

Tel: 0032 2 28 45733

Email: christian.sagartz@europarl.europa.eu

Contacts: 

  • EP Press Service  

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