Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Prominent Kazakh Rights Defender Granted Parole After Six Years In Prison

August 1, 2018

Vadim Kuramshin in 2012

Prominent Kazakh human rights activist Vadim Kuramshin has been granted early release on parole after serving more than 6 1/2 years in prison on extortion charges that his supporters said were politically motivated.

A lawyer for Kuramshin, Muratbek Irge, told RFE/RL that a court in the northeastern city of Oskemen agreed on August 1 to parole Kuramshin.

He will be released in 15 days if the ruling is not appealed and overturned, Irge said.

Kuramshin has become known for his efforts to raise awareness of violations of inmates’ rights in Kazakh penitentiaries, including the one where he served his term.

He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2012 on an extortion conviction. He denies wrongdoing.

In December 2013, while behind bars, Kuramshin was awarded the prestigious Ludovic-Trarieux international human rights prize.

https://www.rferl.org/a/prominent-kazakh-rights-defender-granted-parole-after-six-years-in-prison/29404713.html

Kazakh human rights defender Vadim Kuramshin will probably be granted early release

https://www.uianet.org/en/news/ludovic-trarieux-international-human-rights-prize-2013-vadim-kuramshin

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/vadim-kuramshin

https://arrestedlawyers.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/defence-for-defenders.pdf

http://www.avocatparis.org/avocats-jusquau-bout-vadim-kuramshin (FRANCAIS)

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Azerbaijan/Kazakhstan/Ukraine: Side Event: Defenceless defenders: addressing the attacks on lawyers in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine

June 22, 2018

This side event at the Human Rights Council takes place on Tuesday, 26 June, 14:00-15:00, room XXVII of the Palais des Nations.  It is organized by the ICJ and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI).

In recent years, lawyers have increasingly been targeted across the world including Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Attempts to impede the work of lawyers through arbitrary disbarments and other disciplinary procedures, criminal or administrative proceedings, physical attacks or intimidation have become an unfortunate new normality in many lawyers’ work.

Lawyers are too often identified with their clients’ cause or specifically targeted in violation of their right to freedom of expression. This side event will discuss challenges faced by lawyers in defending human rights in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Moderator: Róisín Pillay, ICJ Europe and CIS Programme Director

Speakers:

  • Helene Santos, Senior Fellow–UN Liaison Officer in Geneva for the IBAHRI
  • Fariz Namazov, Lawyer, Member of the Azerbaijan Bar Association
  • Hanna Boryak, Lawyer, Chair of the Committee for the Protection of Advocates’ Rights and advocacy at the Ukrainian National Bar Association
  • Iurii Grygorenko, Lawyer, member of the Committee for the Protection of Advocates’ Rights and Advocacy at the Ukrainian National Bar Association
  • Temur Shakirov, ICJ Senior Legal Adviser Europe and CIS Programme

https://www.icj.org/side-event-defenceless-defenders-addressing-the-attacks-on-lawyers-in-azerbaijan-kazakhstan-and-ukraine/

#HRC38 | Side Event at UN Geneva on « Defenceless #defenders: addressing the attacks on #lawyers in #Azerbaijan#Kazakhstan and #Ukraine » organised by the International Commission of Jurists and International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute

(Red Internacional de Derechos Humanos 26/6/18)

International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

Image result for international bar association

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has launched its 2017 Annual Review, providing an overview of the IBAHRI’s major activities over the year.

2017 was a difficult year for human rights: since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted 70 years ago, it appears that we are now reaching a point where the universal acceptance of human rights is being eroded. Increasingly polarised political spheres and growing support for populist governments are resulting in policies that scapegoat minorities, attack the under-represented and persecute those who oppose these governments.

In this atmosphere, protection of human rights, the rule of law and an independent legal profession are more important than ever. This makes the work of the IBAHRI more important than ever. Since its establishment in 1995, the IBAHRI has endeavoured to defend fundamental human rights through the promotion and protection of the independence of the legal profession, and by providing members of the global legal community with the tools needed to do the same.

 

As part of its ongoing projects in the Americas, the IBAHRI provided torture-prevention training to legal professionals, including judges and public defenders, across Brazil and Mexico. In El Salvador, the IBAHRI brought a high-level delegation of experts on the rights to justice, truth and historical memory to meet with legal professionals, the executive, armed forces, CSOs and academia with a view to achieving justice effectively and realising the rights of those who suffered human rights abuses as a result of the 12-year civil war. Additionally, the IBAHRI continued to monitor the emblematic trial of Venezuelan Judge María Lourdes Afiuni, and sent open letters to President Donald Trump of the United States, which criticised the President and his administration for actions the IBAHRI felt were ‘diametrically opposed to the defence of human rights’.

In Asia Pacific, the IBAHRI worked with the newly established Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar to continue its work in the country, and has been running a trial observation programme to ensure those responsible for the death of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni are brought to justice. In Timor-Leste, the IBAHRI has consolidated its presence in the country by seeking to strengthen the legal profession and supporting the creation of its first national bar association.

The IBAHRI launched a mentorship programme for junior Azerbaijani lawyers that linked them with more experienced senior lawyers, and held a Law Student Conference in Baku, among other activities intended to advocate for the rights of legal professionals in the country. We also facilitated attendance at various OSCE Meetings for lawyers in GeorgiaKazakhstan and Tajikistan as part of the IBAHRI’s ongoing work in Europe and Central Asia.

https://www.ibanet.org/Human_Rights_Institute/Human-Rights-Institute-Annual-Review-2017.aspx

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/23/joint-letter-eu-regarding-human-rights-situation-tajikistan

In Tajikistan, reforms undertaken by the Qualifications Committee set up by the Ministry of Justice drastically decreased the number of practising lawyers.

Read more about the situation of Tajik lawyers and the work the IBAHRI has done in partnership with the Tajikistan Barristers’ Union here:https://tinyurl.com/y7rhftx4

(International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Facebook, 9/5/18)

Kazakhstan: Concerns over lawyer Botagoz Jardemalie

April 23, 2018

Image result for CCBE

I am writing to you on behalf of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), which represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers. The CCBE places great emphasis on respect for human rights and the rule of law, and is particularly concerned with the situation of human rights defenders around the world.
The CCBE would like to express its concern on the situation of lawyer Botagoz Jardemalie
whom has been granted political refugee status in Belgium.
According to the information received, Ms Jardemalie has been targeted by the alleged misuse of Interpol’s Red Notice system and politically motivated prosecution in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, and, more recently, has been the victim of a kidnapping plot in Belgium, which has been investigated by the Belgian Federal police.
We understand that in November 2017, the brother of Ms Jardemalie, Iskander Yerimbetov was arrested in Kazakhstan, where he is being held in pre-trial detention. As reported by a monitoring mission of human rights defenders, who visited Mr Yerimbetov following an inquiry by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer1
, Mr Yerimbetov was subjected to torture during the detention, most likely with the purpose of compelling his sister to cease providing assistance to the opposition politician Mukhtar Ablyazov and other victims of political prosecution by the Kazakhstani regime.2

http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/Kazakhstan_-_Kazakhstan/2018/EN_HRL_20180423_Kazakhstan_Concerns-over-lawyer-Botagoz-Jardemalie.pdf

https://www.rferl.org/a/eu-magnitsky-act-parliament-urged-yunus-jardemalie/29051202.html

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/

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)