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To the Government of Kazakhstan:

C Immediately accede to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its additional protocols;

C Immediately cease all harassment of the independent print and broadcast media; abolish restrictions in law and practice on the right to freedom of expression. All currently licensed newspapers should be allowed to resume publishing immediately; judicial review of pending libel suits against the news media should meet the highest procedural standards;

C Repeal provisions in the Law on National Security that impinge on the right to freedom of expression and that allow the procuracy to revoke registration of media outlets without judicial review; ensure that application of the law does not otherwise impinge on free speech rights guaranteed in the Kazakhstan constitution and in international law;

C Enforce provisions of the constitution on the media forbidding censorship and interference in the professional duties of a journalist;

C Repeal articles 318 and 320 of the criminal code, which provide for criminal penalties for offending the "honor and dignity" of the president and other official persons;

C Uphold the right of all individuals to freedom of association, in consonance with international standards, including the right to form and to join public associations and political parties. Ensure that the legally prescribed process of registration of those groups is applied consistently and fairly;

C End onerous restrictions on public meetings and peaceful demonstrations and permit, in a consistent manner, such activities to be carried out by political parties, public associations, and others, in accordance with international human rights standards on freedom of assembly;

C Repeal amendments to the Law on Elections disqualifying candidates for all administrative offenses;

C Enforce provisions of the Law on Elections forbidding government officials from acting in support of particular candidates.

To the OSCE:

C Condition future observer missions to monitor elections, or pre-election assessment missions on clear, measurable, good-faith efforts by the government of Kazakhstan to bring its laws and practices regarding fundamental freedoms into full conformity with its OSCE commitments;

C The OSCE Special Representative on Freedom of the Media should continue his useful engagement in the region. Future travel to and reporting on Kazakhstan should carefully monitor the state of the media. In the future, the ODIHR should include the special representative in debates to determine whether the ODIHR will monitor elections in Kazakhstan.

To the European Union and Member States:

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed with Kazakhstan, which entered into force this year, specifies that respect for human rights and democratic principles are an essential element of the agreement.
C The European Parliament should use the periodic reviews of the PCA with Kazakhstan to urge the government of Kazakhstan to bring its laws and practices with regard to the exercise of freedom of expression, association, assembly, and political participation into compliance with international standards. The parliament should requestthat the E.U.- Kazakhstan Cooperation Council issue a public report regarding the state of Kazakhstan's compliance with these international standards, and should make clear that continuation of the PCA is contingent on specific and measurable progress in observation of these standards.

To the Council of Europe:

C Postpone all consideration of associate member status for Kazakhstan until it has implemented the recommendations elaborated above.

To the U.S. Government:

C Continue to urge the government of Kazakhstan to end its arbitrary interference in the exercise of the rights to free expression, peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and political participation;

C Review all assistance, including export guarantees, to Kazakhstan in light of these findings, keeping in mind that section 498A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 requires that the president "take into account not only relative need but also the extent to which that independent state is acting to...[Section 498A(a)(1)]: "make significant progress toward, and is committed to the comprehensive implementation of a democratic system based on principles of the rule of law, individual freedoms, and representative government determined by free and fair elections."

To the European Bank on Reconstruction and Development:

Article 1 of the Agreement Establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development states that its purpose is to promote development in "Central and Eastern Europe countries committed to and applying the principles of multiparty democracy, pluralism and market economics." In light of this statutory commitment, the Bank should consider the findings contained in this report in the context of its annual country assessment for Kazakhstan and signal that the nature and level of future assistance will be contingent on substantial progress in implementation of the recommendations listed above.

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