Press release September 8, 2019
Kazakhstan: Uphold Rights to Liberty and a Fair Trial and Free Mukhtar Dzhakishe
Freedom House released the following statement ahead of the court hearing on Mukhtar Dzhakishev’s parole scheduled for September 10 in Oskemen Oblast City Court.
Ahead of the court hearing on Mukhtar Dzhakishev’s parole scheduled for September 10 in Oskemen Oblast City Court, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Should the court rule to keep keep Mukhtar Dzhakishev in custody, despite the 2015 UN Human Rights Committee request to ‘quash the conviction and release him,’ the government will undermine its international commitments to secure the rule of law and defend human rights in the country,” said Marc Behrendt, director for Europe and Eurasia programs at Freedom House. “As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Kazakhstan is obligated to uphold, among other rights, the right to liberty and a fair trial, and to provide an effective remedy when violations occur. We call on Kazakhstan to release Mukhtar Dzhakishev immediately to demonstrate that the international commitments of the country are respected and upheld.”
In March 2010, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the former head of the atomic energy agency Kazatomprom, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on embezzlement charges, which many human rights organizations regard as politically motivated. In 2015, the UN Human Rights Committee, in response to a complaint lodged by Dzhakishev, issued Communication No. 2304/2013, which recognized that Dzhakishev’s rights had been violated, and urged Kazakhstan to immediately release him from prison. However, Dzhakishev remains behind bars to this day. Prior to the rejection of Dzhakishev’s appeal, a court in Semey dismissed his petition for parole on July 24, 2019. The hearing for the appeal of the July 24 decision will take place on September 10, 2019.