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Briefing paper ahead of advocacy meetings with government officials in Astana

The authorities of Kazakhstan have implemented some significant positive steps in recent years in the area of torture prevention and eradication, but we are concerned that torture and other forms of ill-treatment are continuing and impunity is still the norm. There is a danger that the international community stops emphasizing the need for further reform on the backdrop of recent reforms. These are the key positive steps made by Kazakhstan in recent years:

  • Kazakhstan’s National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) was established under the Ombudsman’s office in 2013 and started visiting detention facilities across the country in March 2014. In May 2015 it issued its first Consolidated Report.
  • When Kazakhstan’s new Criminal Code came into force in January 2015, the country abolished the statute of limitations applicable to the offence of torture and excluded torturers from prisoners amnesties.
  • Legal safeguards pertaining to detainees in pre-trial detention were strengthened in the new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) that also came into force in January 2015.

This briefing that was jointly prepared by the NGO Coalition against Torture in Kazakhstan and International Partnership for Human Rights highlights our main concerns in the following areas:

1) implementation of fundamental legal safeguards,
2) investigations into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment,
3) implementation of the Istanbul Protocol (medical),
4) implementation of UN treaty body decisions on individual cases,
5) the National Preventive Mechanism.

Download full document here.

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