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Amnesty: Kazakhstan authorities failing to investigate reports of torture

[JURIST] Kazakhstan authorities are failing to properly investigate reports of torture, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [AI report] on Thursday. According to the group, there have been hundreds of reported instances of human rights violations in Kazakhstan with very few acted upon. John Dalhuisen, AI's Director for Europe and Central Asia, said, "the failure to investigate torture and prosecute those responsible leaves victims hopeless and intimidated." When individuals seek justice, the claims can last for years in a very dismal system. AI suggested that authorities need to establish an advisory committee to oversee investigations and to include experts from civil society.

Kazakhstan has faced continued criticism for its human rights record. In October the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association cautioned Kazakhstan [JURIST report] that its new bill amending the law on non-profit organizations may be detrimental to the existence of such groups within the country. In April the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes called on Kazakhstan to increase protections [JURIST report] for individuals who live in toxic areas within the country. In 2012 Human Rights Watch claimed that oil workers in the country face mistreatment [JURIST report] and repression at the hands of the government and oil companies. However, Kazakhstan has made some improvements. In January of last year the Kazakhstan prosecutor general announced [JURIST report] the newly adopted criminal procedure code would require police to read suspects their rights when making arrests.

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