Briefing paper for EU-Kazakhstan Human Rights Dialogue, November 2016
Key concerns and recommendations on torture and ill-treatment in Kazakhstan, October 2016
In recent years the authorities of Kazakhstan have implemented some significant positive steps in the area of torture prevention and eradication, but we are concerned that torture and other forms of ill-treatment are continuing and that impunity is still the norm. From January to September 2016 the NGO Coalition against Torture in Kazakhstan registered 115 new cases of men, women and children who allege having been subjected to torture or ill-treatment. This figure reflects only the tip of the iceberg since many victims and their relatives refrain from lodging complaints for fear of reprisals or because they have no hope to attain justice. Impunity is the norm. In its Concluding Observations issued to Kazakhstan in November 2014, the United Nations (UN) Committee against Torture pointed out that less than two percent of torture complaints led to prosecutions and in August 2016 the UN Human Rights Committee also expressed concern about the “very low rate of effective prosecution“.
This briefing highlights two concerns that the NGO Coalition has identified as particularly pressing. In the annex you find the case of a victim of torture that we urge you to raise with the Kazakhstani delegation.