Measure of Success of Reforms in Kazakhstan will be the Impact on Democracy

Chairwoman Hautala wishes to make a clarification upon the following comment attributed to her at the Parliament magazine of Kazakhstan[:]; “Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, MEP Hautala very much appreciated the move by President Nazarbayev, noting that it has once again shown the world and European public, the commitment of Kazakhstan to democratic principles and respect for their international obligations, and given the successful chairmanship in the OSCE.”

Chairwoman Hautala met on 2nd of February with Ambassador of Kazakhstan Mr Yerik Utembayev, upon his request. In the discussion Ms Hautala expressed particular interest towards the recent electoral reforms, while emphasising that their measure of success will be their impact on the democracy, rule of law and human rights in Kazakhstan. Chairwoman Hautala has raised the issue of human rights with the Kazakhstani authorities and at the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights on several occasion, expressing concern over reports of torture in the detention facilities and freedom of expression and assembly in particular. In the meeting with Ambassador Utembayev she reiterated these concerns and urged the authorities to address these issues as a matter of priority. She remains disappointed that no improvements were achieved in this regard during the OSCE chairmanship of Kazakhstan.

Chairwoman Hautala considers it imperative to make this clarification as she wishes to emphasise that it is most important that any publication funded by government sources and reporting on government matters aspire to highest standards of accuracy and transparency.