Foreign Deputies familiarized with the mechanism of preventing torture in Kazakhstan
Since the accession of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1998 to the UN Convention against Torture, significant work has been done to create an effective national system for preventing torture.
Today, Deputy Prosecutor General Yerlik Kenenbayev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Rashid Zhakupov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roman Vasilenko, Head of the Investigative Department of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau Sergey Perov held a briefing for the delegation of foreign Deputies, journalists and representatives of foreign NGOs on measures to strengthen the mechanism of preventing torture and strengthening the system of human rights protection as a whole in the Department of Internal Affairs of Almaty.
Foreign delegates, including representatives of the parliaments of Spain, Romania and Poland, non-governmental organizations from Italy, the Czech Republic, as well as Deputies of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan who attended the briefing, got acquainted with the situation in the penitentiary system of Kazakhstan. The presentation noted that since the accession of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1998 to the UN Convention against Torture, considerable work has been done to create an effective national system for preventing torture.
It was stressed that Kazakhstan is an open, democratic and legal state. Today, the state bodies of the country do not keep silent about the facts of torture and do not protect the perpetrators. The state policy is aimed at thoroughly investigating every complaint and restoring the legality, justice and rights of the victim.
"The Constitution and the current legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan have proclaimed a complete ban on the use of torture, violence, and other cruel or degrading forms of treatment and punishment. All measures taken by the Republic of Kazakhstan are aimed at creating in the society and state bodies an atmosphere of "zero tolerance" for torture. This principle is the basis for many reforms carried out in recent years. In accordance with the instruction of the head of state, a thorough reform of the criminal legislation has been implemented, which is aimed at its consistent humanization; the criminal legislation has been brought into line with the norms of international law, new Criminal Procedural and Penal Enforcement Codes have been adopted," said Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Major-General Rashid Zhakupov.
In the presentation of the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it was also noted that in order to protect the rights, freedoms and interests of the participants in the criminal process, the figures of the investigating judge and the procedural prosecutor were introduced. At the legislative level, the use of preventive measures in the form of "detention" is limited, except in cases of serious and particularly serious crimes. Humanization is also aimed at reducing the time frame for detaining suspects no more than 48 hours; the role of the lawyer has been enhanced.
During the meeting, the attendees drew attention to the effective mechanism for filing complaints and allegations of torture using the single telephone trust of the Ministry of Internal Affairs "1402", as well as special boxes for complaints established in accessible places for convicts in all institutions of the prison system of Kazakhstan.
In addition to legislative measures, a number of practical measures are taken. In the buildings of law enforcement bodies, "transparent offices" for interrogations that are equipped with video cameras are gradually introduced. To date, there are 700 such offices in the country.
As a result of the measures taken, following the results of 2017, complaints were reduced:
- on the actions and decisions of the police by a quarter;
- on illegal methods of investigation by half;
- the illegal delivery of citizens decreased by 2 times.
"Victims of torture have the additional right to receive free legal aid and access to social, medical, and psychological services. In all regions of Kazakhstan, crisis centers have been established and function, provide various services for victims of torture and ill-treatment. The state carries the work on rehabilitation and payment of compensation for victims of torture. The corresponding Law "On the Compensation Fund for Victims" was adopted in January this year. In addition, torture is classified as a serious crime, with a toughening of the sanction in the form of a maximum term of imprisonment up to 12 years. It is not allowed to release persons who committed torture from criminal responsibility for expiry of the statute of limitations or under an amnesty," said Rashid Zhakupov during the presentation for the foreign delegation.
During the meeting, foreign delegates also got acquainted with the progress of the investigation of a number of criminal cases, visited the Detention Unit No.1 of Almaty, where they met with a number of investigative-arrested citizens.