Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: UPR Kazakhstan submitted

April 4, 2019

UPR Kazakhstan submitted

On 28 March 2019, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review of Kazakhstan.

 

In the report, Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concerns about the newly passed law ‘On the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance’ for it could undermine the independence of the legal profession.

Lawyers for Lawyers also highlighted that the Kazakh authorities do not always uphold the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession in practice. Lawyers are regularly subjected to improper interference or attempts to put pressure on them by members of law enforcement agencies or investigative bodies. Furthermore, lawyers regularly sometimes do not have the opportunity to meet with their clients in full confidentiality.

https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/upr-kazakhstan-submitted/

https://eurasianet.org/kazakhstan-judges-complaint-alarms-legal-profession

https://bitterwinter.org/lawyer-aiman-umarova-interview/?fbclid=IwAR1P53WGw679gakfjVEnczcLqdX52qlSVNhHEu-2jYxpBWzAi0sfxnCi83A

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VUKeFaPtpvgI43YJpyMVJata0HJIDK31/view?fbclid=IwAR1Ybsy5QfAXxxS764kH6l3-Yng_OGb7gczjrrDThf4uzauZgCCgv22VgPU (KAZAKH)

https://www.facebook.com/nghrdc/ (KAZAKH)

Kazakhstan: frivolous disbarment proceedings against prominent lawyer Sergey Sizintsev should be immediately dropped, ICJ says

March 6, 2019

Today, the ICJ expressed concern at the initiation of disbarment proceedings by the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan against Sergey Sizintsev, former Executive Director of the National Bar Association and the newly-elected head of the Scientific-Consultative Board of the National Bar Association. 

The official ground for disbarment of Sizintsev is his work as the Director the National Bar Association in 2016-2018 while continuing his legal practice at the same time.

On his facebook public account, however, Sizintsev alleged that this initiative is not related to the officially stated grounds, and that in fact continuing to practice while working as Director of the Bar Association is clearly permitted by the Kazakhstan’s law. Rather, he alleges, he is being pursued for his criticism of the law “On lawyers’ activity and legal aid” as well as his public statements in different international and national fora in regard to issues related to the independence of the legal profession.

The ICJ recalls that freedom of expression and association, in particular, constitute essential requirements for the proper and independent functioning of the legal profession and must be guaranteed by law and in practice.

https://www.icj.org/kazakhstan-disbarment-proceedings-against-a-leading-lawyer-sergey-sizentsev-should-be-immediately-dropped/?fbclid=IwAR3iqcBq8OTC5O1wgaLiQkXn6RxOzytlNNfeRdycydWdTBKfpMF7IN1V6TA

https://bit.ly/2TkQZBa?fbclid=IwAR2MF7ncmdd1b1AXr6J1aPLV-wafWZrrU08_4D98Q0z95Ue51OAlI_qq5Rw

https://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/Kazakhstan_-_Kazakhstan/2019/EN_HRL_20190325_Kazakhstan_Disbarment-proceedings-against-lawyer-Sergey-Sizintsev.pdf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VUKeFaPtpvgI43YJpyMVJata0HJIDK31/view?fbclid=IwAR1Ybsy5QfAXxxS764kH6l3-Yng_OGb7gczjrrDThf4uzauZgCCgv22VgPU (KAZAKH)

Kazakhstan: Police In Kazakhstan Detain Activists, Journalists For Second Day

December 17, 2018

Kazakh human rights activists demonstrate in Almaty on December 16.

Police in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, detained several activists and journalists for the second day in a row on December 17.

Activists said on Facebook that police detained Bakhytzhan Toreghozhina, the head of the human rights foundation Ar.Rukh.Khaq (Dignity, Spirit, Truth), lawyer Gulnara Zhuaspaeva, the founder of the opposition DAT newspaper Ermurat Bapi, civic activists Rinat Rafkhat, Erlan Qaliev, Suiyindik Aldabergenov, Geroikhan Qystaubaev, and several others.

Several activists were not allowed to leave their homes.

Police did not explain the reason for the detentions.

On December 16, police in Almaty briefly detained several human rights activists who attempted to celebrate the 27th anniversary of its independence from the former Soviet Union and to commemorate the victims of police crackdowns in 2011 and 1986.

The December 16 police crackdown came as activists attempted to gather near the Independence monument in central Almaty to commemorate people killed by police during oil worker protests in the western town of Zhanaozen on December 16, 2011 and during mass anti-Soviet demonstrations in Almaty in December 1986.

https://www.rferl.org/a/police-in-kazakhstan-detain-activists-journalists-for-second-day/29660437.html

Kazakhstan: ICJ alarmed at government interference in legal profession

November 23, 2018

The ICJ is concerned at increasing government interference with the independence of the legal profession, including through intimidation and harassment of the leadership of the National Bar Association and individual lawyers in Kazakhstan.

In the last two months, there have been a series of resignations in the leadership of the National Bar, including Anvar Tugel, ex-President of the National Bar Association who publicly announced that his resignation was the result of “disagreement with the reform proposed by the Ministry of Justice”.

He explained that the “reform” aimed to remove the leadership of the Bar Association.

In his public statement, Tugel points out that several presidents of the local bar associations, faced pressure.

Indeed, Yakubenko Raisa and Vladimir Zolotov presidents of Aktyubinsk and Pavolodar bar associations respectively faced disbarment proceedings in the Kazakhstan courts, initiated by the Ministry of Justice.

The disciplinary charges against them are related to their administration of the bar associations.

https://www.icj.org/kazakhstan-icj-alarmed-at-government-interference-in-legal-profession/?fbclid=IwAR0QWmi-GlJUQ_ML_2zj2biH32lIdvRGHVKuSSZgvpQDg4PMXsEpUIxiMWQ

https://www.hg.org/bar-associations-kazakhstan.asp

The Systematic Repression of Lawyers in Central Asia and Eastern Europe

September 12, 2018

Image result for Freedom House

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2018
Warsaw, Poland
September 12, 2018
Working Session 4

The Systematic Repression of Lawyers in Central Asia and Eastern Europe

Freedom House is gravely concerned by an apparent systematic crackdown on the legal profession by a number of OSCE participating States. Since 2017, restrictive legislative changes and punitive measures targeting individual lawyers were especially egregious in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Crimea. The intense persecution of the legal profession undermines individuals’ essential right of equal access to justice, especially those who openly call for government accountability, such as human rights defenders, journalists, social and political activists. Often, legal action is the only available recourse for individuals and associations to seek redress for violations of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

Due to governments’ threats both to lawyers and their would-be clients, the number of lawyers able to take on human rights cases is dwindling. Without a strong, independent judiciary and lawyers free from harassment, however, governments cannot claim to be fulling their obligations to protect the fundamental human rights of their citizens. Attacking the legal profession appears to be the final step in dismantling a system in which citizens can find recourse against unjust treatment by their own governments within the existing legal framework.

In Azerbaijan, the national parliament amended the ‘Code of Civil and Administrative Procedure’ and the ‘Bar Act’ in October 2017 to state that only members of the Azerbaijan Collegium of Advocates can represent clients in court, substantially cutting the proportion of lawyers to the population to one of the lowest rates in the region.[1]Furthermore, authorities summarily disbar prominent human rights lawyers and deny accreditation to junior advocates. Lawyers including Khalid Baghirov, Aslan Ismayilov, Alaif Hasanov, Elchin Namazov, Yalchin Imanov, Farhad Mehdiyev, Muzaffar Bakhshaliyev, Annaghi Hajibeyli, Aliabbas Rustomov, and Intigam Aliyev have all had their bar membership suspended or revoked shortly after raising human rights concerns on behalf of clients or criticizing the government.[2] Junior lawyers are unable to join the Collegium of Advocates due to its bias against lawyers connected to human rights cases. Samed Rahimli, known for taking on political contentious cases, describes his interviewers from the Collegium of Advocates as being openly hostile towards him and accusing him of trying to destroy the collegium. This systematic persecution of human rights lawyers has left the country with only six practicing human rights lawyers, according to Intigam Aliyev, a human rights lawyer previously jailed for his work.[3]

https://freedomhouse.org/article/systematic-repression-lawyers-central-asia-and-eastern-europe

https://freedomhouse.org/

https://www.ibanet.org/Human_Rights_Institute/Work_by_regions/Europe/Tajikistan-film.aspx

https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Azerbaijan/Azerbaijan-journalists-and-human-rights-activists-left-defenceless-190307

https://www.rferl.org/a/brother-of-former-ablyazov-lawyer-jailed-on-graft-charges-in-kazakhstan/29559028.html

Kazakhstan: The Legend of Batyrs

September 18, 2018

“Do heroes exist today?”

📢 [Story] – Discover the story of #HRDs Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov, two Kazakh lawyers and activists sentenced to five years imprisonment following a trial that did not live up to the internationally accepted standards of #justice.

In May, 2016, Max et Talgat participated in public demonstrations and published posts on their FB accounts criticizing the reforms of the #landcode and were sentenced to five years in prison. In February 2017, Max and Talgat were put on the list of people linked to #terrorist and extremist activities in Kazakhstan.

OMCT with Kadyr Kassiyet (Dignity) and the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law is submitting an Individual Communication to the Human Rights Committee on behalf of Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov.

The video-campaign has been organized by the Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Pana Defenders, supported by the @Netherlands Helsinki Committee

(OMCT Facebook, 18/09/18)

 

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/kazakhstan-un-body-declares-the-detention-of-max-bokayev-and-talgat

 

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/kazakhstan-ongoing-arbitrary-detention-of-max-bokayev-and-talgat

Ukraine/Kazakhstan/Russia/Moldova: Defence for the defenders: Lawyers and attorneys under attack for participation in politically motivated cases

June 29, 2018

The right to defence is one of the fundamental human rights that is enshrined in a number of international agreements. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims the principle of equality of all before the law, the presumption of innocence, and the right to be examined openly and with all the requirements of justice by an independent and impartial court.

In order to exercise their right to defence, prosecuted persons must have full access to legal services provided by independent lawyers and attorneys. According to the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, everyone has the right to ask any lawyer for help in defending their rights and protecting them at all stages of criminal proceedings.

According to the opinion of the European Court of Human Rightslawyers play a key role in maintaining public confidence in the judicial system and act as intermediaries between the public and courts. Thus, they are an important element of the rule of law.

As noted in paragraph 16 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions in an environment free from intimidation and improper interference. Also, lawyers shall not be prosecuted or sanctioned for any acts committed as part of their professional duties.

Unfortunately, in countries where democratic institutions are poorly developed and the rule of law does not work, lawyers and attorneys often become victims of persecution as well as various kinds of pressure and restrictions. This especially concerns those who participate in politically motivated cases.

Lawyers and attorneys are attacked both by state institutions and authorities and by various criminals, against which the state is unable to protect them. This prosecution also involves professional associations that proclaim their aim to protect the rights and interests of lawyers, but are not independent of state bodies.

At the moment, there are no effective mechanisms for monitoring the interference of the state and other entities in the activities of lawyers and attorneys. The solution could consist of adopting a special document that would protect lawyers and attorneys at the international level.

The statutory goals of the Open Dialog Foundation provide for the protection of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in the post-Soviet space. This report examines cases of harassment and attacks on lawyers and attorneys in countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine,and Turkey. The latter is not a post-Soviet state, but it is a member of the Council of Europe and therefore has international obligations in the field of standards of law, democratic development, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.

https://en.odfoundation.eu/a/8707,defence-for-the-defenders-lawyers-and-attorneys-under-attack-for-participation-in-politically-motivated-cases

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer