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Kazakhstan sees 31 policemen convicted for torture

Photo courtesy of prokuror.gov.kz Photo courtesy of prokuror.gov.kz

31 policemen have been convicted for torture in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing Deputy Prosecutor General Zhakyp Asanov at the National Preventative Measures meeting.

Asanov emphasized that torture being a serious crime in itself cannot be justified in whatever circumstances. “Eradication of torture and other illegal means of investigation are key goals for law enforcement,” Asanov added. In this regard, in 2013 35 criminal cases were initiated and 31 policemen were convicted.

All in all, over the past 5 years the number of cases initiated against law enforcement officers for torturing suspects or any other involved individuals has grown by 10 times. Kazakhstan made steps to comply with internationals standards in human rights and measures to prevent torture. According to the Deputy Prosecutor General, Kazakhstan accepted several international conventions concerning human rights and in particular the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or

“A local prosecutor is informed about every case of body injuries of individuals that are detained in temporary detainment centers or detention facilities and a medical examination is appointed within 24 hours. We react to reports of torture immediately and take all the required measures to investigate the report,” Asanov said.

In 2010 the Prosecutor General’s Office approved special instructions concerning investigation of torture reports during all stages of criminal trial and services of sentence. In accordance with this regulation, all pre-trial materials and criminal trials are thoroughly checked. Investigation of torture cases is done by a specialized prosecutor. Torture related parts of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan were amended to meet the UN standards and eliminate interdepartmental loyalty during investigation. “That means, that if a policeman tortures a suspects then the investigation is conducted by a different prosecuting agency,” Asanov explained.

He added that member-agencies of the national preventative initiative can visit and check all 600 custodial institutions of Kazakhstan, including those under jurisdiction of the interior affairs, healthcare, defense and education ministries.

Reporting by Assel Satayeva, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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