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Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan Statement on the arbitrary detention of citizens in Kazakhstan on June 9, 10 and 12, 2019

Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan is extremely concerned about the persecution of citizens in Kazakhstan on account of their having sought to freely express their opinions and civic positions. In many cases of transferring and detaining participants of peaceful assemblies both human rights standards were violated and the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan was breached.

Human rights organizations have documented denial of access to lawyers to detainees, unlawful “visiting courts”, and court verdicts disproportionate to the gravity of the alleged offences. This jeopardizes the principles of independence and impartiality of justice in Kazakhstan.

The Republic of Kazakhstan positions itself a democratic state of law, where the rule of law, equality of all before the law and independent courts must be ensured, and where human rights and freedoms are recognized and guaranteed.

Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan calls upon the Kazakhstani authorities to stop the prosecution of civilians for expressing their opinion, ensure access of detainees to qualified legal assistance and a fair trial, , regardless of their political views or beliefs.

Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan will continue to supporting protection and promotion of fundamental human rights in Kazakhstan through the funding human rights organizations.

Background information:

For several days, widespread arbitrary detentions of citizens who took to the streets to express their opinions on events in the country were carried out throughout Kazakhstan. According to a briefing by the General Prosecutor’s Office on June 13, 2019, there were 957 people prosecuted for participating in unauthorized protests in the cities of Almaty and Nur-Sultan, and all 957 were prosecuted by the courts. Of these, 670 were subjected to administrative arrest, 115 were fined, 172 were warned.

About Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan

Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan (SFK) is a non-governmental charity organization whose main purpose is to advance the values of an open society in Kazakhstan. See www.soros.kz website for more details.