KAZAKHSTAN: SENATE ADOPTS DRAFT NEW CRIMINAL CODE INCLUDING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
May 30, 2014: the Senate of the Parliament adopted in its first reading a draft new Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, increasing the number of crimes eligible for the death penalty.
The new Code would make war crimes, violations of international humanitarian norms during armed conflicts, and international terrorism punishable by death.
First Deputy Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Johann Merkel said such measures are necessary for fulfilling Kazakhstan's international obligations, including Geneva Convention on protection of war victims, Tengrinews.kz said.
At the same time, the new version of the Criminal Code abolishes the death penalty for abuse of power in the army (Article 360 and 380).
On 9 April, the new Criminal Code passed its second reading in the Majilis, the lower house of the parliament.
Bills customarily require three readings before reaching the President of the Republic for being signed into law. The government hopes to finalise the process before the summer recess so the new Criminal Code can come into force by January 2015.
Kazakhstan already has a number of capital crimes on its books, including genocide, conduct of a war of aggression and use of weapons of mass destruction. However, an indefinite moratorium on executions, issued by presidential decree in December 2003, remains in place in Kazakhstan. (Sources: Hands Off Cain and KA-News, 30/05/2014)