Large-scale anti-government protests rocked Kazakhstan in January 2022, setting off a cascade of human rights violations by the authorities, including excessive use of force against protesters, arbitrary arrest and detention, and ill-treatment and torture of detainees. Political reforms promised by Kazakhstan’s President Kasym-Jomart Tokaev in recent years have not led to meaningful improvements in the country’s poor human rights record. Free speech and the right to peaceful protest are suppressed. Kazakh authorities have used politically motivated prosecutions to silence government critics, including on the vague and overbroad charge of “inciting discord,” and banned political opposition groups as “extremist.” Independent trade unions face harassment and interference. Impunity for torture and ill-treatment persists. Kazakhstan has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but children with disabilities are largely denied a quality, inclusive education.

map of Kazakhstan


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