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Kazakhstan: HRW reports torture and ill-treatment of oil workers

last updated Apr 24, 2012

On Monday 23 April 2012, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a press release, that 37 oil workers, who are currently on trail for organizing or participating in a 2011 oil workers’ strike “were subjected to physical and psychological abuse by police and investigators, including beatings, suffocation, and threats of rape or harm to family members”. HRW calls for the imitate suspension of the trail and a prompt and independent investigation of the allegations.

The defendants were arrested as a result of the violent clashes between the police and civilians after an extended oil workers’ strike in the town of Zhanaozen on 16 December 2011. Over the course of the trial, which began on 27 March 2012 the defendants reported of torture and ill-treatment in custody by police officers and investigators and agents of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee (KNB). These allegations undermine the ability to guarantee them a fair trial, HRW says.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture visited Kazakhstan in 2009, where he received serious allegations of torture and was able to carry out a follow-up mission in 2010.

HRW: Kazakhstan: Suspend Trial, Investigate Torture Allegations

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2009) Mission Report

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2010) Follow-up Report