Human rights group highlights Kazakhstan repression

Mukhtar_Ablyazov__2150166aThe Open Dialog Foundation has highlighted the case of former politician and businessman Mukhtar Ablyazov in Kazakhstan, whom the organisation cites as being “enemy number one” of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and whose case, along with those of Muratbek Ketebayev, Tatiana Paraskevich, Alexandr Pavlov and Alma Shalabayeva, Mukhtar Ablyazov’s wife, represents “extensive repressive action towards political dissidents living in Europe”.

On 31 July this year, Mukhtar Ablyazov was arrested in the south of France near Cannes, following demands made by Ukraine.  He  is now in custody in Aix-en-Provence, awaiting a further decision by the court on his potential release. He has to provide documents proving that he can reside in the vicinity throughout the duration of the procedure, he may be requested to pay a bail and, if released, would be placed under electronic surveillance (GPS tracking bracelet). The court is expected to examine his release request during the second part of August.

The following articles, according to the Open Dialog Foundation, illustrate Ablyazov’s case:

1. How Europe helps the ‘hunters’ of Ablyazov, from the website of the banned Kazakh newspaper Respublika. Click here (English translation attached).

2. France: Ensure safety of Kazakhstani Opposition Figure: Amnesty International,  click here.

3. Italy’s shameful collusion with Kazakhstan: The Washington Post, click here.

4. Ghosts of transition: Interview with Yevgeniy Zhovtis, click here (English translation attached.

The Open Dialog Foundation has appealed to the French authorities, the French Ministry of Justice in particular, to take into account the dangers awaiting Ablyazov should he be extradited and end up in Kazakhstan, Russia or Ukraine, where, the organization states “he cannot expect to face a fair trial”.

With regards to Vadim Kuramshin, the international Ludovic-Trarieux Prize laureate (the prize is awarded annually to activists and advocates involved in human rights defence) is currently serving a 12-year prison term in a high security prison facility, ES 164/4, which he criticised for not respecting the rights of prisoners. He has requested to be transferred to a different top-security facility, closer to his family’s place of residence, where he would not risk being a retaliation target for his previous activity in denouncing prisoners’ rights infringement. For the Ludovic-Trarieux Prize website, click here.

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