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Kazakhstan: Justice must prevail for torture victim Rasim Bayramov

In December 2014, Kostanay City Court ordered the Department of Internal Affairs of Kostanay region to pay compensation to Rasim Bayramov for torturing him in 2008. Police and procuracy did not accept the ruling and Kostanay Regional Court will consider the police appeal on 5
February 2015.

Rasim Bayramov has struggled for justice for years. When domestic complaint mechanisms proved ineffective, he turned to the United Nations Committee against Torture, with the support of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (KIBHR) and the Open Society Justice Initiative. On 14 May 2014, the UN Committee ruled under its Individual complaints procedure that Rasim Bayramov’s treatment at the hands of police amounted to torture and that Kazakhstan should “conduct a proper, impartial and independent investigation in order to bring to justice those responsible for the complainant’s treatment (and) provide (Rasim Bayramov) with full and adequate reparation, including compensation and rehabilitation, and to prevent similar violations in the future.”

In July 2014, the Special Prosecutors Directorate of Kostanay Regional Prosecutor’s Office instigated a criminal case under Article 347-1 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan2 in relation to police abuse Rasim Bayramov was subjected to. However, on 10 December the Regional Prosecutor’s Office decided to close the criminal case and Rasim Bayramov’s lawyer is currently preparing a complaint against the decision. In September 2014, KIBHR filed a civil compensation claim on Rasim Bayramov’s behalf relating to the torture he was subjected to and on 12 December Kostanay City Court ordered the Department of Internal Affairs of Kostanay region to pay him damages amounting to 100,000 Tenge (approx. 470 EUR).

The organizations mentioned below believe that the December 2014 Kostanay City Court ruling on awarding Rasim Bayramov financial compensation – although the court granted a comparatively low amount — is an important milestone toward providing remedies to torture victims in Kazakhstan and should be implemented. In its ruling the Court rightly stressed that Kazakhstan is obliged to implement principles contained in international human rights treaties it has ratified as well as rulings on individual cases issued by international human rights bodies.

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