Kazakhstan heavily restricts freedom of assembly, speech, and religion, and torture remains a serious problem. In 2014, authorities closed newspapers, jailed or fined dozens of people after peaceful but unsanctioned protests, and fined or detained worshipers for practicing religion outside state controls. Government critics, including opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov, remain in detention after unfair trials. Recently adopted changes to the criminal code, as well as a new law on trade unions, contain articles restricting fundamental freedoms and which are incompatible with international standards. Torture remains common in places of detention and while some police officers faced charges, impunity remains the norm.