M

LATEST UPDATES

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

As reported earlier, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention sent a request regarding the arbitrary detention of Karim Massimov to the Government of the Republic Kazakhstan via diplomatic channels. No later than June 6, 2022, the UN should receive an official and exhaustive response from the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, an international group of lawyers addressed the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nilz Melzer, on the “arbitrary detention of Karim Massimov and thousands of other citizens who have been subjected to systematic violations of human rights in Kazakhstan”. In particular, the appeal calls on the Special Rapporteur to visit Kazakhstan and conduct an independent investigation into mass human rights violations committed during the January protests, including “arbitrary detentions, torture and inhumane treatment”.

They further called for the UN Special Report into these abuses to include findings from ongoing independent investigations and to be prepared with the participation of public activists, experts and relatives of the victims.

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention appeals to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in defense of Karim Massimov

No later than June 6, the Government of Kazakhstan must respond to the accusation of arbitrary detention and human rights violations related to Mr. Massimov, in accordance with the charter of the UN Working Group (1).

For the first time following the illegal detention of Karim Massimov, a legal analysis of the accompanying circumstances is to be published. Violations of the law committed during the investigation continue to be recorded.

Responding to the requests of Kazakhstani human rights defenders and lawyers, we publish excerpts from the petition. We hope that the work of highly qualified lawyers will help to release not only Karim Massimov, but also all citizens of Kazakhstan who were subjected to illegal criminal prosecutions in connection with the events of January. While innocent people are behind bars, the January tragedy persists.

According to international norms and Kazakhstani legislation, all evidence presented by the prosecution is considered invalid if it is obtained in violation of the law. To be clear, we are talking about illegal detentions and arrests, non-admission of lawyers, torture, official forgery and secret courts classified as “Top Secret”.

SUMMARY

Mr. Massimov, who was twice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and a prominent politician, was arrested and detained by the security forces of Kazakhstan around January 5, 2022 amid large-scale political unrest in the country. For 72 days, he was held incommunicado without access to his family members, his chosen lawyer or doctor. His family knows nothing about the conditions in which he is held.

Within a few days after Mr. Massimov’s initial detention, the National Security Committee (2) issued a series of vague statements to the press confirming that Mr. Massimov was detained during the investigation on charges of committing “treason”, “attempt to seize power” and “abuse of power”.

On January 8, 2022, an unnamed and unidentified judicial body allegedly authorized the continued pre-trial detention of Mr. Massimov. The original ruling and its reasons were not made public. The date of his trial has not yet been set.

The arbitrary nature of Mr. Massimov’s imprisonment is obvious due to the lack of any legal grounds for his arrest and detention, as well as gross violations of due process that have characterized the trial against him so far.

The arrest and detention of Mr. Massimov are part of the larger suppression of political opponents in Kazakhstan. Faced with large-scale unrest, the authorities went to detain thousands of people whose guilt has not been established (3). By initiating an unfounded criminal trial against Mr. Massimov, detaining him before trial, the authorities use the charges against Mr. Massimov as a pretext to suppress any political threat he may pose. The only possible conclusion is that the arrest and detention of Mr. Massimov are politically motivated.

Mr. Massimov’s case meets the criteria of the Working Group regarding arbitrary detention (4) under categories I and III of the Working Group’s methods of work: (1) Kazakhstan cannot specify any legal basis, arrest and detention of Mr. Massimov (category I violation); and (2) non-compliance with international fair trial standards is so serious that it makes imprisonment arbitrary (category III violation).

Given all the circumstances, the available information constitutes a “sufficiently reliable” argument that Mr. Massimov was arbitrarily deprived of his liberty and that the continuation of such deprivation of liberty poses a serious threat to his health, physical or psychological integrity and/or his life.

The UN Working Group adopted the relevant petition and, taking into account the serious issues raised therein, applied its urgent action procedure so that the petition could be considered urgently to ensure respect for Mr. Massimov’s right to life and to physical and mental integrity.

REFERENCES

1. Resolutions 1997/50, 2000/36 and 2003/31 were adopted by the UN Commission on Human Rights to extend the mandate of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The Human Rights Council, which “acquired … all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the Commission on Human Rights.” in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251, General Assembly Resolution 60/251, §6 (15 March 2006), extended its mandate through Resolutions 6/4, 15/18, 20/16, 24/7, 33/30 and 42/22

2. National Security Committee, Press Statement, January 8, 2022: https://www.gov.kz/memleket/entities/knb/press/news/details/309530? Lang=kk; Security Committee, Press Statement, January 13, 2022: https://www. gov.kz/memleket/entities/ knb/press/news/details/311845? Lang=kk

3. Human Rights Watch, “Kazakhstan: Arbitrary arrests and beatings of protesters”, February 1, 2022: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/02/01/kazakhstan-protesters-arbitrally-arrested- beaten; Amnesty International, “Kazakhstan: The authorities must release arbitrarily detained protesters and respect human rights in the context of ongoing riots”, January 12, 2022: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/01/kazakhstan- authorities-must-release- arbitrarily-detained-protestors-and-respect-human-rights-amid-ongoingay- unrest; The protest, “The President of Kazakhstan said that he issued an order “open fire to kill”, January 7, 2022-kaas.the-de-de-dor-de-

4. UN General Assembly, Working methods of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, A/HRC/33/66, July 12, 2016, §8

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

January events in Kazakhstan – was there a foreign trace?

On March 14 in the Majilis, the Prosecutor General reported on the progress of the investigation into the January events. The prosecutor’s report did not clarify many of the issues of concern raised by the population.

On February 10, Tokayev affirmed that foreign militants played a key role in the riots: “It was a carefully prepared operation of international terrorists, bandits who attacked Kazakhstan in order to, first of all, undermine the constitutional order and, of course, commit a coup d’état” (Source: Kremlin.ru). Putin, for his part, supported this version: “Kazakhstan has become, without any exaggeration, a victim of some international gangs that took advantage of the difficult situation within the country. But nevertheless, the situation has been restored… Russia, as one of the CSTO countries, in accordance with Article 4 of the treaty, offered Kazakhstan help” (Source: Kremlin.ru). Moreover, the version was supported by a statement of the head of the Foreign Intelligence, Sergei Naryshkin, that Russia informed the countries of Central Asia about “the threat of a potential terrorist attack from Syrian militants, ISIS in particular”. Naryshkin said that the coordination of operations was carried out from abroad.

However, when asked by journalists about foreign terrorists on March 14, the Prosecutor General replied: “They were not there. Where did you get this information from?”. The public is bewildered. Why does the Prosecutor General’s version contradict that of the President? The country’s top leadership does not have a coherent version of the events. What credibility can the investigation have if there is confusion on even basic facts? Perhaps the investigation into the January events is being used to settle accounts by politically undesirable representatives of the Kazakhstan elite.

In addition, the CSTO’s participation remains unclear. “There are around 300 thousand armed forces in Kazakhstan” as was declared by the Member of the Majilis, Azamat Abildayev, who asked of the Prosecutor General: “Why was the authority waiting for 2,000 CSTO peacekeepers to arrive, when there were plenty of local forces?” Moreover, as the Prosecutor General stated, the CSTO forces not participate in the anti-terrorist operation. Geopolitics enters the scene. It sets a dangerous precedent foreign troops participating to resolve issues within Kazakhstan. This precedent could later be used for wider interference in the internal affairs of the country. Pandora’s box is open.

Another cause for bewilderment is the introduction of an anti-terrorist regime throughout Kazakhstan, which was in force until January 19, by a decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. 70 days after the events, no terrorists, alive or dead, were presented to the public. The head of the Special Prosecutor’s service answered the journalist’s question that “there are no ongoing cases on terrorism”.

The most pressing issue of concern to the public is the torture of detainees following the January events. So far, officials have admitted that eight people died from torture during detention. The National Security Committee has once again been blamed, when it is well known that the Ministry of Internal Defence carried out arrests and detentions in this investigation. The issue requires an independent investigation involving lawyers, human rights defenders, and relatives of the detained.

The report of the Prosecutor General held in the Majilis leaves the public with more questions than answers. There is no clear position on key issues of the investigation. All that is left is guesswork. There is a possible desire to hide the true picture of what happened. That is why open investigations are imperative. There was not even an answer to a direct question about who was the main culprit of the events.

This assessment was conducted by independent analysts. Next chapter coming soon. For more information, view Case Background.

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

What’s going on with Karim Massimov’s case?

As is known from official reports, Massimov was arrested on January 8 by court order. The detention order expired on March 8. At the moment, the public has not been informed about the extension of his arrest and detention. It is only known that Massimov is still in the pre-trial detention center of the National Security Council. There is no information about his legal status.

Was there an order to extend his arrest, or were there no such court proceedings? The public was not informed and remains in the dark. All information continues to be classified. Meanwhile, Karim Massimov continues to be held in custody illegally, and any semblance of due process to extend the arrest has been violated. This situation creates a dangerous precedent, where citizens of Kazakhstan can be arrested without legal basis, with cases heard in secret court proceedings that may or may not take place.

The UN Working Group has now accepted a petition for arbitrary detention in relation to this case. The international community considers Karim Massimov’s plight a further example of the rising persecution of political prisoners around the world.

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

The arbitrary detention of Karim Massimov is being considered by the UN

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention accepted a petition arguing that Massimov’s arrest and detention qualify as politically motivated and that he is being denied adequate legal protection.

The petition contains a request to the UN Working Group to send an urgent appeal to the Government of Kazakhstan, in accordance with UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/50, to recommend that Kazakhstan release Karim Massimov, and provide an opportunity for full protection in court, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 13 of the Constitution of Kazakhstan.

This question concerns not only Karim Massimo, but the fate of thousands of citizens persecuted and illegally detained in the aftermath of the January protests. The fact that the petition is being considered by the UN gives hope to all victims of illegal detentions.

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

The allegations against Karim Massimov are false and baseless

The charge of attempted violent seizure of power (under Article 179, meaning changes to the constitutional order through use of media, with a maximum sentence of 17 years and revoked citizenship) is absurd. Karim Massimov could never be the beneficiary of a seizure of power. Under the Constitution, there are ineliminable obstacles to him becoming even an interim President.

If we assume that the purpose of the escalated protests in January was to force President Tokayev to resign, then the three following individuals would have been in line to become interim President:

  1. Head of the Senate – Maulen Ashymbayev, a close ally and protégé of Tokayev.
  2. (if first option refuses) Head of the Mazhilis – Nurlan Nigmatulin, a known close ally of First President Nazarbayev.
  3. (if the first two options refuse) Head of the Government – Askar Mamin, another close Nazarbayev ally without great political aspirations.

The position of Maulen Ashymbayev in the succession line is a very strong obstacle to any suggestion of the attempted removal of President Tokayev from power.

This assessment was conducted by independent analysts. Next chapter coming soon. For more information, view Case Background.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

What’s going on with Karim Massimov’s case?

As is known from official reports, Massimov was arrested on January 8 by court order. The detention order expired on March 8. At the moment, the public has not been informed about the extension of his arrest and detention. It is only known that Massimov is still in the pre-trial detention center of the National Security Council. There is no information about his legal status.

Was there an order to extend his arrest, or were there no such court proceedings? The public was not informed and remains in the dark. All information continues to be classified. Meanwhile, Karim Massimov continues to be held in custody illegally, and any semblance of due process to extend the arrest has been violated. This situation creates a dangerous precedent, where citizens of Kazakhstan can be arrested without legal basis, with cases heard in secret court proceedings that may or may not take place.

The UN Working Group has now accepted a petition for arbitrary detention in relation to this case. The international community considers Karim Massimov’s plight a further example of the rising persecution of political prisoners around the world.

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

The arbitrary detention of Karim Massimov is being considered by the UN

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention accepted a petition arguing that Massimov’s arrest and detention qualify as politically motivated and that he is being denied adequate legal protection.

The petition contains a request to the UN Working Group to send an urgent appeal to the Government of Kazakhstan, in accordance with UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1997/50, to recommend that Kazakhstan release Karim Massimov, and provide an opportunity for full protection in court, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 13 of the Constitution of Kazakhstan.

This question concerns not only Karim Massimo, but the fate of thousands of citizens persecuted and illegally detained in the aftermath of the January protests. The fact that the petition is being considered by the UN gives hope to all victims of illegal detentions.

Request for UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit Kazakhstan

The allegations against Karim Massimov are false and baseless

The charge of attempted violent seizure of power (under Article 179, meaning changes to the constitutional order through use of media, with a maximum sentence of 17 years and revoked citizenship) is absurd. Karim Massimov could never be the beneficiary of a seizure of power. Under the Constitution, there are ineliminable obstacles to him becoming even an interim President.

If we assume that the purpose of the escalated protests in January was to force President Tokayev to resign, then the three following individuals would have been in line to become interim President:

  1. Head of the Senate – Maulen Ashymbayev, a close ally and protégé of Tokayev.
  2. (if first option refuses) Head of the Mazhilis – Nurlan Nigmatulin, a known close ally of First President Nazarbayev.
  3. (if the first two options refuse) Head of the Government – Askar Mamin, another close Nazarbayev ally without great political aspirations.

The position of Maulen Ashymbayev in the succession line is a very strong obstacle to any suggestion of the attempted removal of President Tokayev from power.

This assessment was conducted by independent analysts. Next chapter coming soon. For more information, view Case Background.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.