Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Official position of the Republican Bar Association regarding the recent draft Law “On the Bar Activities and Legal Aid” and the pertinent concept (Concept of the draft Law “On the Bar Activities and Legal Aid”)

16/09/17

ПОЗИЦИЯ РЕСПУБЛИКАНСКОЙ КОЛЛЕГИИ АДВОКАТОВ

The defence lawyers’ community is concerned that the law, if adopted in the current form, would legitimize the state’s interference in their activities, further eliminate their independence and ultimately infringe upon the individual’s right to fair trial. In particular, the lawyers are against the state’s participation in the Bar’s disciplinary commissions and regulation by the state of the Bar’s membership fees and honoraria, to name a few points. Such provisions will depreciate the status of the legal profession which should maintain its self-regulation and independence from government domination.

http://advokatura.kz/pozitsiya-respublikanskoj-kollegii-advokatov-2/

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Kazakhstan: ICJ urges the government to refrain from interference with the legal profession

June 28, 2017

Government moves to amend the regulatory framework of the legal profession in Kazakhstan may undermine its independence and are contrary to the principle of self-regulation of the profession, the ICJ said today.

The ICJ called on the authorities of Kazakhstan to refrain from interference in the governance of the independent legal profession and step back to allow the collegia of lawyers to continue to take responsibility for such matters.

The ICJ stressed that any proposals for reform put forward by the governing bodies of the profession should be developed in consultation with and enjoy the consent of the members of advokatura in accordance with international law and standards on the independence of lawyers.

The ICJ was responding to proposals put forward by the Justice Minister Marat Beketayev for reform of the legal profession in Kazakhstan.

In a statement to Parliament on 29 May 2017 (Report of the Minister of Justice on the issues of further development and reform of the institutes of notary and advokatura on 29 May 2017), the Minister outlined plans to:

  • lower training and entrance fees to the profession “in order to simplify access to the profession”;
  • broaden the powers of the Republican Collegium to regulate the disciplinary system for lawyers, in light of the Minister’s view that lawyers were avoiding disciplinary responsibility in many cases under the current system;
  • require lawyers to undergo annual training followed by exams, which would be set not by the collegia themselves, but by universities or external training centres;
  • require lawyers, in addition to the participation in state-funded legal aid scheme, to provide mandatory legal assistance without financial support from the Government, which the Minister described as “pro bono” service

https://www.icj.org/kazakhstan-icj-urges-the-government-to-refrain-from-interference-with-the-legal-profession/

Kazakhstan: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest, conviction and detention of lawyer Talgat Ayanov in Kazakhstan

May 10, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest, conviction and detention of lawyer Talgat Ayanov in Kazakhstan.

Talgat Ayanov is a lawyer and activist from Atyrau, Western Kazakhstan. He played a crucial role in organizing peaceful protests that took place last April and May in response to the November 2015 amendments to the Land Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (the “Land Code”).

In April and May 2016, hundreds of citizens gathered to call for the abolition of the above-noted Land Code amendments. In early May 2016, Talgat Ayanov promoted and encouraged participation in a rally that was to occur on the 21st of that month. Consequently, on May 17, 2016, he was arrested and sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention for “organizing an unsanctioned assembly”.

On May 31, 2016, one day before the end date of his administrative detention, Talgat Ayanov was charged with the offence of “propaganda or public calls for seizure of power or retention of power or violent change of the constitutional order”. Later, on July 21, 2016, this charge was replaced with “institution of social discord”, “dissemination of knowingly false information” and “violation of the procedure of organization and holding of meetings, rallies, pickets, street processions and demonstrations”. Additionally, on June 3, 2016, he was remanded for two months to pre-trial detention; the pre-trial detention was subsequently extended on August 27, 2016.

Talgat Ayanov’s trial commenced on October 12, 2016. On November 28, 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in a penal colony and prohibited from engaging in social activities for three years upon his release. The sentence was appealed on December 9, 2016, but upheld on January 20, 2017. It appears that Talgat Ayanov intends to further appeal to the Supreme Court.

On January 30, 2017, Talgat Ayanov’s family received notice that he would be transferred to the Penal Colony of Petropavlovsk in Northern Kazakhstan to serve his sentence. Initially, he was to serve his sentence in the penal colony located in Atyrau, his place of residence. Kazakhstani law mandates that convicts be incarcerated near their place of residence. The Penal Colony of Petropavlovsk is located 1,500 km from Atyrau. Thus, it would appear that Talgat Ayanov’s transfer is illegal and indefensible.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503794

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503794&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

Kazakhstan: ОТКРЫТОЕ ПИСЬМО ПРЕЗИДЕНТУ РЕСПУБЛИКИ КАЗАХСТАН

24/02/17

ОТКРЫТОЕ ПИСЬМО ПРЕЗИДЕНТУ РЕСПУБЛИКИ КАЗАХСТАН

Вынуждены обратиться к Вам от имени всего адвокатского сообщества.

Нас как профессиональных защитников крайне беспокоят участившиеся факты нарушения судами и органами, осуществляющими уголовное преследование, основных прав человека, принципов справедливости и законности правосудия.

В своем послании от 31 января 2017 года «Третья модернизация Казахстана: глобальная конкурентоспособность» Вы в качестве приоритетного направления обозначили обеспечение верховенства права и равенства всех перед законом, проведение ревизии всего законодательства на предмет усиления защиты прав собственности.

Как адвокаты мы считаем не менее важным также и кардинальный пересмотр правоприменительной практики, которая будет тормозить любые попытки позитивных изменений.

К сожалению, такие институты, как суд присяжных, равноправие и состязательность сторон, презумпция невиновности, судебный контроль над законностью досудебного расследования так и не получили должного развития в правосудии страны. Веру в них уже утратили не только участники процесса, но и сами отправители правосудия. Законность сплошь и рядом подменяется формализмом и неофициальными соглашениями между органами уголовного преследования и судами.

http://advokatura.kz/otkrytoe-pismo-prezidentu-respubliki-kazahstan/

(Open letter to the president from the Bar Association about legal reforms in the country)

Kazakhstan: Казахстанские адвокаты подают в суд на суд Подробнее

Здание Верховного Суда. Фото Tengrinews.kz

Казахстанские адвокаты намерены обжаловать в суде нормативное постановление Верховного суда РК о пособничестве и правилах входа в здания судов, передает корреспондент Tengrinews.kz. Об этом сообщается на сайте Республиканской коллегии адвокатов (РКА).

Как сообщает пресс-служба РКА, в нормативном постановлении Верховного суда Республики Казахстан от 22 декабря 2016 года № 14 “О некоторых вопросах применения судами законодательства об ответственности за прикосновенность к преступлению и пособничество в уголовном правонарушении” были прописаны условия, при которых адвокаты привлекаются к уголовной ответственности в качестве пособников своих подзащитных, что вызвало возмущение и массу вопросов со стороны профессиональных защитников.

То же касается и действующих правил, согласно которым адвокаты подвергаются досмотру при прохождении в здания судов и государственных органов.

Любое использование материалов допускается только при наличии гиперссылки на Tengrinews.kz

https://tengrinews.kz/kazakhstan_news/kazahstanskie-advokatyi-podayut-v-sud-na-sud-315885/

“Lawyers are suing a court. Without too much hope of winning, we see this as the only way of protecting our interests” says Sergey Sizintsev, the Executive Director of the Kazakhstan Republican Bar Association.

This unprecedented move is a result of a Resolution which was adopted in December of last year by Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court. The Resolution states that in cases where a lawyer learns about his client preparing a new criminal offence and gives them advice, or provides other legal assistance to the client, the advocate is liable as an accomplice to the acts committed by their client.

The provision, depending on its interpretation and application, opens doors for various possible actions, measures or sanctions against lawyers in Kazakhstan. Feeling at a substantial disadvantage already, Kazakhstani lawyers fear the Resolution will only add to a current strong misbalance between the parties, threaten their independence and violate the rights of their clients.

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook)

Kazakhstan: Lawyers now face trial for defending client

April 3, 2017

f18 Logo

The two lawyers for a Jehovah’s Witness now on trial in Astana are themselves under criminal investigation. The KNB secret police investigator accuses them of “revealing information from a pre-trial investigation” by appealing to President Nazarbayev for the case against their client to be halted.

Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee (KNB) secret police has opened a criminal case against two lawyers defending a Jehovah’s Witness on trial for exercising freedom of religion and belief. Vitaly Kuznetsov and Natalya Kononenko are facing criminal investigation seeking to punish them for appealing to Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev for the charges against their client to be dropped. Charges were brought against the lawyers even before the trial they were working on began in the capital Astana.

The KNB secret police accuses Kuznetsov and Kononenko of “revealing information from a pre-trial investigation” under Criminal Code Article 423. Kuznetsov described the accusation to Forum 18 as “absurd”. An Astana-based legal specialist told Forum 18 the accusation was “bizarre” (see below).

Astana Prosecutor’s Office handed the case to Asilzhan Gabdykaparov of the General Prosecutor’s Office, it told Forum 18 on 3 April. His telephone went unanswered the same day.

KNB Major Medet Duskaziyev – who initiated the criminal cases against Jehovah’s Witnesses Teymur Akhmedov and Asaf Guliyev, as well as the two lawyers Kuznetsov and Kononenko – refused to answer any of Forum 18’s questions on 30 March.

 

http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2269

Kazakhstan: Ongoing arbitrary detention of Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov

February 13, 2017

OMCT Logo OMCT logo

URGENT APPEAL THE OBSERVATORY

New information

KAZ 001 / 1016 / OBS 085.4
Arbitrary detention /

Judicial harassment

Kazakhstan
February 13, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Kazakhstan.

New information: 

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing arbitrary detention of Mr. Max Bokayev[1], Head of the NGO “Arlan”[2] and a human rights defender working for the protection of the environment, freedom of expression and the fight against torture, and Mr. Talgat Ayanov, a lawyer and activist from Atyrau, Western Kazakhstan. Both human rights defenders played a crucial role in organising peaceful protests that took place last April and early May 2016 against the amendments to the Land Code of Kazakhstan.

According to the information received, on January 30, 2017, relatives of Messrs. Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov received two separate letters issued from the pre-trial detention centre in Atyrau. The first one, dated January 25, 2017, was informing them that the two would be transferred to the Penal Colony in Atyrau. This was subsequently confirmed verbally to both Messrs. Bokayev and Ayanov. The second letter, dated January 30, 2017, was informing the relatives of the two defenders that Messrs. Bokayev and Ayanov would be transferred to the Penal Colony of Petropavlovsk, Northern Kazakhstan, which is 1,500 km from Atyrau, their home city, to serve their sentence. This is in violation of Kazakhstan’s domestic law, which requires keeping convicts near their place of residence.

On January 27, 2017, Messrs. Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov were transferred from Atyrau pre-trial detention centre to a pre-trial detention facility in Aktobe, more than 500 km away from Atyrau, their home city, where they remained detained as of February 9, 2017, before being transferred to the Penal Colony of Petropavlovsk. The relatives of Messrs. Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov have not been informed on a possible date for the transfer of Messrs. Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov to the Penal Colony of Petropavlovsk, as according to Article 91.7 of the Criminal Executive Code, authorities are requested to take measures on security and confidentiality during transfer process.

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/kazakhstan/2017/02/d24206/

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