For the attention of:
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV:
010000, Astana City, 6 Mangilik El Street, Government House, e-mail: email@example.com
Head of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, Sven-Olov CARLSSON:
Kosmonavtov St. 62, 7th floor, Z05E9E1, Astana, tel.: (+7) 7172 97 45 40, e-mail: Delegation-Kazakhstan-PIC@ec.europa.eu Traian.HRISTEA@eeas.europa.eu; Helisene.HABART@eeas.europa.eu; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Belgium, Almaz KHAMZAYEV:
Avenue Van Bever 30, В-1180, Brussels, tel.: (+32) 2 373 38 90, e-mail: email@example.com
General Prosecutor of the Republic of Kazakhstan, K.P. KOZHAMZHAROV:
010000, Astana, 14 Mangilik Yel, e-mail: Gpfirstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Prosecutor of Pavlodar region, Kayrat ELIHANULY:
140000, Pavlodar, Lermontova St. 3, tel.: (+8) (7182) 31-50-60, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kalmukhanbet KASYMOV:
010000, Astana, 1 Prospekt Tauelsizdik, e-mail: Kense@mvd.kz
Chairman of the National Security Committee of the RK, K.K. MASIMOV:
010000, Astana, 31/33 Kenesary Street, e-mail: email@example.com
Ombudsman in the Republic of Kazakhstan, A.O. SHAKIROV:
010000, Astana, Left Bank, The House of Ministries, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Kazakhstan desk officer, EEAS, Eileen GONNORD, e-mail: Helen.GONNORD@eeas.europa.eu
I am deeply troubled to learn that Ms Elena Semenova, a Kazakhstani human rights defender, Chairwoman of the Public Monitoring Commission (PMC) in Pavlodar, is now a subject of criminal prosecution in her home country after participating in a series of advocacy meetings in the European Parliament. I was also informed that she was forced to sign a written undertaking not to leave the country. Ms Semenova’s materials, including convicts’ statements about torture, and her and her child’s computer and her mobile phone were confiscated. She was stripped of the right to perform her human rights activities and is now facing up to 5 years’ imprisonment according to article 274 of the Criminal Code, for “Distributing of deliberately false information”. Investigators accuse her of “reporting false information about the incapacity of the Kazakhstani government to correct the situation with torture and the use of ‘genocide against their people’”.
Being a founder of the civic organization “Relatives Against Torture”, Ms Semenova presented to me testimonies of the victims of torture in colony AK 159/1 of the Department of the Criminal Executive System in Karaganda region on behalf of their family members. Together with other human rights defenders, Ms Semenova gathered and presented to the Kazakhstani authorities dozens of cases of abusive treatment in prisons. Unfortunately, Ms Semenova told us that cases of torture are systematically being denied and left without any appropriate attention by the authorities and law enforcement officers. I am appealing to you to investigate those cases and to put an end to the cruel practices that are being described to us.
It is rather disturbing that Ms Semenova was accused of sharing “destructive statements” that “cause political damage to her country”. Ms Semenova was, in fact, performing her duties as a human rights defender and had a right to share those grave concerns and distress that the convicts’ relatives are experiencing. Just as it is in Europe and in the European Parliament, where I work, the right to freedom of speech should be respected in Kazakhstan also. Any political prosecution of human rights defenders, including for conducting meetings with MEPs, compromises our Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and relations between the EU and Kazakhstan.
I am strongly appealing to you to stop the prosecution of Ms Semenova and allow her and her colleagues to perform their duties without obstruction.
MEP Jaromír ŠTĚTINA