UN expert on freedoms of peaceful assembly and associations to visit Kazakhstan

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai is set to visit Kazakhstan from 19 to 27 January 2015 to assess the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association in the Central Asian republic.

During his first-ever visit to Kazakhstan, Mr. Kiai is tasked by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and promote the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association across the globe. "The rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association are essential components of democracy and development, and states have a duty to fully respect and protect these rights," the independent expert said. "During my visit, I will look into both the legal requirements for holding peaceful assemblies, and how peaceful assemblies are facilitated in practice. Besides, I will look into the issues related to the registration of public associations, trade unions, political parties and religious organizations, as well as on the existence of an enabling environment for the free and effective functioning of civil society. I also hope to gather information on how recently adopted legislation - in particular, the new Criminal Code and the Code on Administrative Offences - has impacted the enjoyment of freedom of peaceful assembly and association," he added. Visiting the country at the invitation of the Kazakh authorities, Mr. Kiai will travel to Astana, Almaty, Aktau and Zhanaozen, where he is expected to meet with representatives from the Government, the judiciary and civil society organizations. The expert's visit takes place after the latest assessment of the situation of human rights in Kazakhstan through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, which involves an evaluation of the human rights records of all UN member states. "My visit represents a good opportunity to follow up in a broader context the recommendations made during the UPR and other UN human rights mechanisms," he noted. The expert will present his final report at the session of the UN Human Rights Council in June.

Currently reading