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To the Kazakh Government:

Political Prisoners

Galymzhan Zhakianov

  • Because his prosecution has been widely viewed as selective and politically motivated, and because his trial lacked due process, release Galymzhan Zhakianov, pending an independent review of the charges against him. Allow the OSCE to immediately undertake an independent expert review of his case.

  • Until Zhakianov is released, ensure he is treated in accord with the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Standard Minimum Rules).4 Comply with commitments to ensure his personal security, access to counsel and to other visitors, such as human rights defenders and government and international representatives, as prescribed by law.

  • Allow access by European Union diplomatic representatives, as set out in the Memorandum between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the Embassies of France, the United Kingdom, and Germany (April 3, 2002).

  • Ensure that Zhakianov receives adequate medical treatment and access to medical personnel.

  • Take all steps to prevent officials from harassing, arbitrarily arresting and detaining or taking other unlawful action against Zhakianov. Take appropriate disciplinary action against any and all officials responsible for such actions.

Sergei Duvanov

  • Immediately conduct a full and transparent judicial review of Sergei Duvanov’s conviction, in accordance with an appeal submitted by his lawyers to the Supreme Court on August 5, 2003, and further to a March 28, 2003, OSCE-commissioned independent expert review that confirmed deep flaws in the original trial of January 2003.


  • Adopt amendments to the Law on Elections as recommended by the OSCE, especially regarding balanced electoral commissions.

  • Ensure full access to the polls for domestic election monitors, and for exit polls; do not make the extent of domestic monitoring groups’ foreign financing a determining factor in their ability to monitor the vote.

  • Desist from harassment of, and threats against, opposition candidates during election campaigns and allow opposition candidates equal access to the media, particularly the broadcast media.

  • Ensure equal access to the ballot for opposition candidates in the 2004 parliamentary elections.

Freedom of Association

  • Adopt and comply with amendments to the Law on Political Parties in accordance with the recommendations of the OSCE.

  • Immediately register political parties and movements, and nongovernmental organizations that have submitted documentation in accordance with the law.

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

  • Cease the practices of politically motivated prosecutions, dismissals, and other harassment of members of the political opposition.

  • Ensure opposition candidates have fair access to the state media.

International Human Rights Conventions and interaction with International Bodies

  • Ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and accede to its optional protocols.

To Member States of the EU:

  • Make better use of the periodic reviews of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Kazakhstan to urge the Kazakh government to bring its laws and practices with regard to due process guarantees and freedom of expression into compliance with international standards, with particular attention to the violations documented in this report.

  • The European Parliament should request that the Commission and Council prepare a detailed public report regarding the state of Kazakhstan’s compliance with these international standards in advance of the next E.U.-Kazakhstan Cooperation Council. It should further request that the E.U. issue a public statement making clear that continued engagement under the PCA is contingent on the Kazakh government’s making specific and measurable progress in meeting these standards.

  • Abide by the terms of the E.U.-Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs memorandum signed in April 2002 on the protection of Galymzhan Zhakianov, which made the rendering of Zhakianov to Kazakh law enforcement agents contingent upon his receiving due process.

To the OSCE:

  • When considering Kazakhstan’s bid for the 2009 chairmanship, ensure that it meets the human rights standards required of OSCE participating states.

  • Undertake a thorough review of politically motivated civil and criminal prosecutions concluded or pending against opposition leaders and members.

  • Review the application dossiers of political parties and movements whose registration has been obstructed by the government.

  • Take into consideration the steps the government has used to limit political competition, and reflect this both in the work of the election monitoring mission and the eventual assessment of the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

To the United States:

  • Intensify efforts at the highest levels to urge the government of Kazakhstan to bring its laws and practices with regard to due process guarantees and freedom of expression into compliance with bilateral agreements and international standards, with particular attention to the violations documented in this report and with specific regard to the Congressional resolution of July 16, 2003 on human rights in Central Asia.

  • Make better use of the conditionality provided under Section 574(b) of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act and the certification under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act to hold the Kazakh government to the standard of “substantial progress” in human rights.

To International Financial Institutions and Other Multilateral and Bilateral Donors:

  • The European Bank on Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should take into account the findings contained in this report when assessing Kazakhstan’s compliance with Article 1 of the Agreement Establishing the Bank, and make clear to the Kazakh authorities that the nature and level of engagement will be contingent on measurable progress in human rights. In so doing, the EBRD should set specific benchmarks for such progress, building on the recommendations presented in this report and by other authoritative sources.

  • The World Bank should factor in the information contained in this report in its country assistance strategy for Kazakhstan.

  • Multilateral and bilateral donors should use their leverage to promote progress in human rights and democracy as part of their engagement with Kazakhstan.

To the Council of Europe:

  • Kazakhstan’s request to gain observer status to the Council of Europe should be granted after the OSCE assesses its elections to have met international standards.

4 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted Aug. 30, 1955, by the First U.N. Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, U.N. Doc. A/CONF/611, annex I, E.S.C. res. 663C, 24 U.N. ESCOR Supp. (No. 1) at 11, U.N. Doc. E/3048 (1957).

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April 2004