Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia

Kazakhstan’s progress in death penalty abolition discussed by experts in Nur-Sultan

09/10/2020 - 08:59
News

Nur-Sultan – The European Union Delegation to the Republic of Kazakhstan and German Embassy in the Republic of Kazakhstan organized an expert discussion dedicated to the World and European Day against the Death Penalty, which is marked annually on 10 October. Senior Kazakhstani officials, representatives of the civil society and human rights experts, embassies of EU Member States and of other countries, represented in Kazakhstan, academia and students discussed political aspects and remaining legal procedures required to implement the abolition of the Death Penalty in Kazakhstan.

“Working for the global abolition of the death penalty in all times and all circumstances remains at the very heart of EU's human rights priorities. We have a strong consensus among all EU Member States in this policy area. While the EU strongly respects the concept of national sovereignty, we believe that death penalty abolition is a matter of respecting fundamental human rights. We would like to congratulate Kazakhstan with its recent signature of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and we would like to encourage the Kazakhstani partners to become co-sponsor of the new planned UNGA Resolution on DP Moratorium”, EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Carlsson noted.

Dr. Tilo Klinner, German Ambassador to Kazakhstan said: “It is a good step if the death penalty is no longer enforced. It is even better if it is actually abolished and a commitment is made under international law not to reintroduce the death penalty. Kazakhstan has taken this step by signing the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I am happy that Kazakhstan is joining the Protocol and that we had such a fruitful discussion with distinguished experts on this issue”.

The Ambassador of Spain, David Carriedo, recalled that his country has always been at the forefront of the international fight against the death penalty. In particular by proposing the creation of an International Commission against the Death Penalty, which was constituted 10 years ago in Madrid and to which Spain is the main contributor: “Spain applauds Kazakhstan’s strong commitment to the abolition of the capital punishment by upholding its national moratorium since 2003, increasing its voluntary contribution to the International Commission against Death Penalty and signing the Second Optional Protocol to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Spain encourages Kazakhstan to a swift ratification of the Second Protocol that would lead to a full abolition of the Death Penalty in the country”.

The EU and its Member States encouraged Kazakhstan to proceed to (a) adopting a law, which would clearly and unambiguously abolish the death penalty for all crimes and (b) ratifying the Optional Protocol without any reservation. The EU and its Member States are ready to help Kazakhstan with any legal and technical advice or guidances which would be required and helpful to our Kazakhstani partners to finalise all relevant legislative aspects. After having successfully completed these remaining steps, Kazakhstan will finally join an ever-growing family of nations, which consider the death penalty as a serious violation of human rights and human dignity.  

The expert meeting was attended by Secretary of the Commission for Human Rights under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr Tastemir Abishev, Kazakhstan’s Ombudsman Ms Elvira Azimova, judge of Nur-Sultan city Ms Daniya Kisikova, heads of civil society NGOs Ms Zhemis Turmagambetova (Charter for Human Rights) and Mr Evgeniy Zhovtis (Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law), Regional Programme Manager of the Central Prison Reform Office (PRI) in Central Asia Ms Zhanna Nazarova, and Rector of KAZGUU University, Professor Sergey Pen.

On 24 September 2020, Kazakhstan signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which requires signatory countries to abolish the death penalty. During the 18th EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee meeting on 25 September 2020, the EU congratulated Kazakhstan for its progress on the path to a full abolition of death penalty. Furthermore, in 2020, Kazakhstan substantially increased its voluntary contribution to the International Commission against the Death Penalty.

For more information please contact:

Mr Youri SKASKEVITCH, Programme Manager, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan: Youri.SKASKEVITCH@eeas.europa.eu

Mr Lars Hennig, First Secretary, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kazakhstan: Pol-3@nurs.diplo.de