Kazakhstan Must Stop Persecution of Human Rights Advocate Ainuv Kurmanov

Chairwoman Hautala sent a letter to the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the EU, Mr Yerik Utambayev, expressing concern over the violent attack and court proceedings against Mr Ainuv Kurmanov, Chairman of the Human Rights Organisation Talmas.[:] 

His Excellency Yerik Utembayev
Embassy of Kazakhstan to the EU
Avenue Van Bever 30
Belgium-1180 Bruxelles


18 May 2011


Your Excellency,

Having conveyed my concerns to your authorities via the EU delegation in Kazakhstan and in keeping with our tradition of frank and open cooperation with your delegation in Brussels, I wish to inform you directly of my concern over the case of Mr Ainur Kurmanov, chairman of the human rights organisation Talmas in Kazakhstan.

It has been reported that Mr Kurmanov sustained severe injuries, having been attacked by the police at the 6th of May Day parade. I have been informed that Mr Kurmanov was not diagnosed to suffer only from concussion but also bruises to the head and skull.

I have also understood that recently he has also been imprisoned for several weeks on charges that are widely considered as judicial persecution, aimed at Mr Kurmanov due to his democracy and human rights advocacy.

I am confident that your excellency recalls that the Subcommittee on Human Rights invited Mr Kurmanov to address its membership on 25th of October 2010 on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan. The members of the Subcommittee expressed their strong support for his advocacy and activities in promotion of democracy, rule of law and human rights. It must therefore be not a surprise to your Excellency that grave concern has been raised since.

I would wish to learn the soonest of the conditions of Mr Kurmanov in order to share this information with the membership. I trust the Subcommittee would also be most keen to know how the investigation into the attack upon Mr Kurmanov is progressing.

I also wish to reiterate my concern over the charges against Mr Kurmanov and urge your authorities to ensure that preconditions for fair trial and independent judiciary shall be met.

With regards both of these issues, I look forward to a first opportunity to meet and discuss with your Excellency.




Heidi Hautala
Chairwoman of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights