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The international community must respond to mass arrests and political prosecution in Kazakhstan

Written declaration No. 695 | Doc. 14983 | 04 October 2019

Signatories:
Mr André GATTOLIN, France, ALDE ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Ms Marina BERLINGHIERI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Maurizio BUCCARELLA, Italy, NR ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Vernon COAKER, United Kingdom, SOC ; Lord George FOULKES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Ms Inga GRIGORIU, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Momodou Malcolm JALLOW, Sweden, UEL ; Ms Susan Elan JONES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Eduard KÖCK, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr František KOPŘIVA, Czech Republic, ALDE ; Mr Jacques MAIRE, France, ALDE ; Mr Alvise MANIERO, Italy, NR ; Mr Gianni MARILOTTI, Italy, NR ; Mr Ian MURRAY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

From February 2018 to October 2019, more than 6 000 people were arbitrarily detained for participating in peaceful anti-government protests to free political prisoners and cease Chinese expansion in Kazakhstan.

On the eve of the rally on 21 September 2019, at least 65 people were detained, 43 of whom were subjected to administrative arrests or fines. On 21 September 2019, observers estimated that the authorities detained more than 200 people. The police beat protesters and dragged them into transport vehicles, brutally seizing them by their arms and legs. The detainees included minors and the elderly, as well as journalists and human rights activists.

While newly-elected President Tokayev has announced his “openness to dialogue”, Kazakhstan is completely ignoring 23 recommendations of the United Nations, which concluded that the prosecution of Mukhtar Dzhakishev, Maks Bokayev, Iskander Yerimbetov and other prisoners violated international law. Following the election, the number of political prisoners increased to 21 persons, including Serik Zhahin, Oksana Shevchuk, Zhazira Demeuova, Gulzipa Dzhaukerova, Akmaral Kerimbayeva, Gulmira Kalykova, who have been prosecuted recently.

We underline that personal sanctions must be imposed upon those responsible for the aforementioned human rights violations. We hereby call for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

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