Kazakhstan: A pandemic is no excuse to ignore human rights

The leadership of Kazakhstan is using the corona pandemic to pass anti protest laws.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee and 24 other human rights organizations from across the OSCE region have prepared a letter addressed to Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, protesting the adoption of a poorly prepared law which will limit citizens’ right to freedom of assembly. The law currently seems set to be passed while Kazakhstan, like many countries around the world, is in Covid-19 lockdown.

The revised law on procedures for organizing and holding peaceful assemblies in the Republic of Kazakhstan has been analysed thoroughly by experts in the field and their recommendations have been made available to lawmakers in Kazakhstan.

– Freedom of assembly is a long-standing issue in Kazakhstan, said Senior Adviser Ivar Dale.

– We have repeatedly raised violations of the right to public protest, having witnessed the manner in which peaceful activists are treated in the country. Kazakhstan is long overdue in taking steps towards a modern democracy. Freedom of assembly and association is an inalienable part of that, he added. The letter to President Tokayev will also be sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association as well as the Director of the OSCE/ODIHR.

Read the letter here

 

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Ivar Dale

Senior AdviserEmail: [email protected]Phone: +380 (50) 610 76 45 / +47 93 67 19 00Twitter: @IvarDale
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Gunnar M. Ekeløve-Slydal

Head of PoliciesEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 95 21 03 07Twitter: @GunnarEkelveSly
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