KAZAKHSTAN. HANDS OFF CAIN AT THE ROUND TABLE ON DEATH PENALTY, MORATORIUM AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
March 12, 2007: The Round Table âAbolition of Death Penalty, UN World Moratorium and Accession to the International Criminal Court: The Republic of Kazakhstan toward Adopting the Highest International Standardsâ takes place today in Almaty. The event is funded by the German Embassy in Kazakhstan and organized by the International Helsinki Federation, the Pavlodar Committee for Monitoring Penal Reform and Human Rights and by Hands Off Cain, with the participation of Penal Reform International and several Kazakhstani NGOs.
Government officials will include among else Saginbek Tursunov, President of the Commission of Human Rights under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nikolay Belorukov, member of the Constitutional Council, Madina Zharbussynova, Ambassador-at-large, for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vice Chairman of the Penal Department of the Ministry of Justice Bakhitjan Sadybekov and the MP Kulyash Agatayeva, Secretary of the Parliamentary Commission for Justice Reform.
The event will be opened by Tanja Bayer, second secretary of the German Embassy in Almaty, also on behalf of the EU Presidency. Bruno Antonio Pasquino, Ambassador of Italy in Kazakhstan, will illustrate the initiative of the Italian Government for a world moratorium on death penalty.
Hands Off Cain will be represented by the members of the Board Marco Perduca and Antonio Stango and by Yuliya Vassilyeva, coordinator for Central Asia and organizer of the round table.
Brigitte Dufour, Vice Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation, will report on her organizationâs engagement for the moratorium. Yevgeniy Zhovtis, Director of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, will report about Constitutional law problems in joining the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, while No Peace Without Justice will be circulating a paper on this topic.
According to Yuliya Vassilyeva, âKazakhstan has done a very positive step with the moratorium on death penalty in 2003 and it can now join the states that are ready to support a resolution for a world moratorium at the United Nations General Assemblyâ.
Kazakhstan ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in November 2005, however it didnât sign the two Optional Protocols, the second one calls for the abolition of death penalty. (Sources: HOC, 12/03/2007)