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Persecution of civil society in Kazakhstan: personal sanctions must be imposed and trade co-operation reviewed

Written declaration No. 706 | Doc. 15062 | 31 January 2020

Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Mr Fourat BEN CHIKHA, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Reina de BRUIJN-WEZEMAN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Ms Rósa Björk BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Maurizio BUCCARELLA, Italy, NR ; Mr Petter EIDE, Norway, UEL ; Mr Piero FASSINO, Italy, SOC ; Lord George FOULKES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Yuriy KAMELCHUK, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Catherine KAMOWSKI, France, ALDE ; Ms Yevheniia KRAVCHUK, Ukraine, ALDE ; Mr Alvise MANIERO, Italy, NR ; Mr Gianni MARILOTTI, Italy, NR ; Baroness Doreen MASSEY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Emilie Enger MEHL, Norway, ALDE ; Mr Giuseppe Maria MORGANTI, San Marino, SOC ; Ms Barbara NOWACKA, Poland, NR ; Ms Foteini PIPILI, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Mihail POPSOI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Lord Simon RUSSELL, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Tommy SHEPPARD, United Kingdom, NR ; Mr Liviu VOVC, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

Since November 2019, around 200 people were arbitrarily detained for participating in peaceful protests to release political prisoners, stop political prosecution and commemorate the victims of the Zhanaozen tragedy. On 16 December 2019, excessive use of force by police caused injuries to many activists (including Nuriyash Abdreimova, Anna Shukeyeva and Azamat Baikenov).

Following the written declarations Nos. 695 and 682, we learned that the number of political prisoners has been increased with several activists: Yerzhan Yelshibayev, Kairly Omar and Zhambul Kobeisinov, a trade union leader Yerlan Baltabay, and journalist Amangeldy Batyrbekov, while criminal proceedings against Dulat Agadil, Aliya Abulkhairova and Aigul Akberdy are still ongoing.

We share the concern of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe over the harassment and persecution of Botagoz Jardemalie, a human rights lawyer and political refugee residing in Belgium. We find the practice of abusing INTERPOL, extradition and mutual legal assistance instruments to silence Jardemalie and Zhanara Akhmetova, one of the exiled leaders of the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan opposition movement, unacceptable.

We call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, we urge to review trade co-operation with Kazakhstan and impose personal sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations and abuse of international co-operation instruments.