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Financial assistance for Kazakhstan must be withheld unless significant human rights progress is made

Written declaration No. 663 | Doc. 14647 | 11 October 2018

Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Ms Hannah BARDELL, United Kingdom, NR ; Ms Doris BARNETT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Reina de BRUIJN-WEZEMAN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Vernon COAKER, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Stella CREASY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Doris FIALA, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Robert GOODWILL, United Kingdom, EC ; Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Zita GURMAI, Hungary, SOC ; Ms Eva-Lena JANSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Susan Elan JONES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Rónán MULLEN, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Killion MUNYAMA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Ian MURRAY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Azadeh ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Ulla SANDBÆK, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Tritan SHEHU, Albania, EPP/CD ; Ms Olena SOTNYK, Ukraine, ALDE ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Krzysztof TRUSKOLASKI, Poland, ALDE ; Mr Mart van de VEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Martin WHITFIELD, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

As mentioned in written declaration No. 660, over 140 people were detained and about 40 were incarcerated. Iskander Yerimbetov, Ablovas Dzhumayev, Kezhenbek Abishev, Almat Zhumagulov, Muratbek Tungishbayev are examples of many politically persecuted persons who are deprived of the right to a fair trial. The Council of Europe must call upon the Kazakhstani authorities to immediately release 30 individuals listed by the Political Prisoners Protection Committee and to stop prosecuting peaceful protesters, bloggers and lawyers.

On 7 October 2018, Kazakhstani human rights defender Elena Semenova was banned from leaving the country to participate in meetings with members of the Parliamentary Assembly.

The European Union financed the € 5,5 million project “Enhancing Criminal Justice in Kazakhstan”, while the Council of Europe and the European Union co-financed the programme “Support to the Kazakh Authorities in Improving the Quality and Efficiency of the Kazakh Justice System”. According to the reports of human rights watchdogs and independent international watchdogs, the officially presented outcomes do not correspond to reality.

We urge the European Union and the Council of Europe to withhold the financial support for Kazakhstan, unless it makes genuine progress in terms of human rights.