Kazakhstan’s President signs law abolishing Death Penalty and law on Commissioner for Human Rights
Last year, in line with Kazakhstan’s principles and the direction of its political development, the country took the decision to join the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – an international protocol on the abolition of the death penalty. This was announced in President Tokayev’s statement at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2020, during which he emphasized the nation’s commitment to enforcing the fundamental right to life and human dignity. Kazakhstan’s Parliament ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on December 23 at a plenary session of the Senate.
During deliberations on this subject earlier this year at the National Council of Public Trust, the Head of State stressed that the abolition of the death penalty should be adopted without any reservations, thereby supporting the position of Kazakh human rights activists on this issue. Kazakhstan’s decision to abolish the death penalty ensures that the criminal legislation in the country is humane.
Today, President Tokayev also signed the Law "On the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Republic of Kazakhstan". He announced the initiative to develop this law in January 2021 at the opening of the first session of the Parliament of Kazakhstan of the VII convocation. This law significantly expands the powers of Kazakhstan’s Ombudsperson for Human Rights and clearly defines the legal status of the office.Advertisement
The adoption of these laws is in line with the course of the Government towards ensuring the protection of human rights and political modernization in Kazakhstan. They form part of large-scale political reforms of the President and his ‘Listening State’ initiative.
Both Laws were signed following extensive discussions between the government and the representatives of Kazakh civil society and human rights activists, including at the National Council of Public Trust.Advertisement
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