Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

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

Kazakhstan: Kazakh dissidents and lawyers hit by cyber attacks – researchers

August 2, 2016

Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Hackers believed to be working on behalf of Kazakhstan government officials tried to infect lawyers and other associates of exiled dissidents and publishers with spyware, according to a report to be presented at this week’s Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas.

The hacking campaign was part of a complicated tale that also involved physical surveillance and threats of violence – a rare instance of cyber attacks coming alongside real-world crimes.

It is also unusual in that the campaign involved an Indian company that was apparently hired by the hackers, and it targeted Western lawyers along with alleged opponents of the Kazakh government.

A spokesman at the Kazakhstan embassy in Washington did not respond to emailed questions.

A research team including two staffers of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) examined emails sent to a group that included New York human rights lawyer Peter Sahlas; Italian attorney Astolfo Di Amato, who is involved in a legal dispute with Kazakhstan; and exiled Kazakhstan publishers Irina Petrushova and Alexander Petrushov, both of whom fled Kazakhstan years ago.

The emails tried to trick recipients into installing one of two types of commercially available spy software and were likely sent by an Indian company hired for the job. The researchers came to that conclusion based on analysis of the internet addresses and domain names that pointed to how the malware was controlled.

http://news.trust.org/item/20160802153134-wpfx0/

Kazakhstan: landmark court ruling in favour of lawyers’ rights

April 22, 2016

The ICJ welcomes the decision of the Almaty City Court in favour of Ayman Umarova, a lawyer who received repetitive demands from the investigative authorities to testify as a witness in a case in which she represented a client.

The Court decided that those demands were contrary to the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Earlier this month, on 8 April, Umarova (photo) had challenged the official summons of Baurzhan Muzhikov, the head of an investigative group of the Anti-Corruption Service of Almaty, to testify as a witness.

The Medeu Regional Court confirmed the lawfulness of such demands, concluding that it was not related to her professional activity.

On 18 April, the Appeals Collegium of the Almaty City Court overturned the decision of the Medeu Regional Court.

Umarova was represented in the case by 28 lawyers as a demonstration of solidarity by the profession.

Kazakhstan: landmark court ruling in favour of lawyers’ rights

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/14/human-rights-watch-concerns-and-recommendations-kazakhstan