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Kazakhstan: Risk of Criminal Prosecution of Human Rights Defender Mr Alexander Osadchenko
Letter by William Gomes Salem-News.com
Our Human Rights Ambassador seeks relief for imprisoned activist.
(SALEM) - Human rights defender Alexander Osadchenko from Priozersk, Central Kazakhstan, is facing big legal trouble for investigating cases of corruption and acting as a legal representative of citizens in the local courts.
He has been dealing with cases relating to social rights and economic rights of people in his community. This includes the government's apparent refusal to pay retirement fees and other forms of local corruption.
Our Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes, believes that Alexander Osadchenko is targeted and may face a criminal prosecution in Kazakhstan because of his legitimate and peaceful human rights work.
He considers the detention of Alexander Osadchenko groundless illegal, and remains concerned for his physical and psychological integrity while in detention.
Along with other agencies like Front Line Defenders, Mr. Gomes immediately and unconditionally calls for the release pf Alexander Osadchenko, and drop all charges against him, as it is believed that he has been targeted solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful activities in defence of human rights.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Office of the President
Left Bank of the Ishim River
I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.
I came to know about the situation from Front Line Defenders.
Kazakh human rights defender Mr Alexander Osadchenko has been illegally detained in a pre-trial facility in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, since his arrest on 10 June 2012 by Kazakh policemen. He is now facing a risk of criminal persecution. Alexander Osadchenko is a human rights defender in the town of Priozersk, Central Kazakhstan, investigating cases of corruption and acting as a legal representative of citizens in the local courts. Prior to his arrest, he was dealing with cases related to social and economic rights of local citizens, including the non-payment of retirement fees as well as other cases related to corruption by the local authorities.
On 20 October 2012, the General Prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Kazakhstan sent a letter to the Prosecutor’s office of the Karaganda region regarding the case of Alexander Osadchenko. The letter contains a request to the local Prosecutor’s office to verify information that Alexander Osadchenko has been a victim of illegal activities by local policemen in the city of Priozersk, who allegedly falsified materials during the criminal investigation against the human rights defender.
In May 2012, Alexander Osadchenko travelled to Kyrgyzstan for family business. On 10 June 2012 he was detained in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, by two Kazakh policemen from Priozersk, and brought to the Police Department of Bishkek. Upon arrival, he was reportedly put into pre-trial facility number 1 of Bishkek city, where he has been held in detention ever since. Later, in August 2012, he applied for political asylum in Kyrgyzstan while being held in detention. On 11 August 2012, the senior investigator of Karaganda regional police in Kazakhstan, L. E. Halmetova, sent the local police a document claiming that Alexander Osadchenko “went into hiding before the criminal case was opened” and thus should be extradited back.
On 28 July 2010, the Priozersk Police Investigative department had decided to launch a criminal investigation against the human rights defender. He was accused of presenting falsified documents in the court as legal representative in a civil case, under Article 348 (Falsification of evidence) and Article 24 (Preparation for a crime and an attempted crime) of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan.
Alexander Osadchenko is now facing a risk of being extradited back to Kazakhstan where he might face criminal persecution. Moreover, it is not clear on which grounds the authorities in Kazakhstan demand extradition of Alexander Osadchenko since the criminal case against him has never been officially opened.
I believe that Alexander Osadchenko is targeted and may face a criminal prosecution in Kazakhstan because of his legitimate and peaceful human rights work. I consider the detention of Alexander Osadchenko groundless and illegal, and am concerned for his physical and psychological integrity while in detention.
I urge the authorities in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Alexander Osadchenko, and drop all charges against him, as it is believed that he has been targeted solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful activities in defence of human rights;
2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee his physical and psychological integrity and security while in detention;
3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
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Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.
He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.
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