HRW raises concern over Kazakhstan charging of ladies’s rights advocate for fraud – JURIST

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday called for due course of and equity within the case of Dinara Smailova, a outstanding ladies’s rights advocate in Kazakhstan. HRW expressed issues that the fees introduced in opposition to Smailova could also be a type of retaliation for her work and an try and silence her activism.

Smailova is at the moment going through a number of felony prices. The Kazakhstan Inner Ministry’s public statement in December 2023 states that the authorities in Almaty Metropolis, East Kazakhstan and Almaty areas are pursuing prices in opposition to Smailova for large-scale fraud, violations of privateness and knowingly disseminating false info. If discovered responsible, she might face the confiscation of her property and be banned from sure positions or actions for all times.

HRW questions whether or not the fees are an effort to discredit Smailova’s group somewhat than a real pursuit of justice. In accordance with Smailova’s lawyer, the prosecution’s case lacks credible proof of any alleged wrongdoing. As well as, Smailova’s authorized staff additionally publicly reported procedural violations by the authorities throughout the investigation, together with initially denying considered one of Smailova’s attorneys entry to case supplies.

Dinara Smailova is the founding father of the #NeMolchikz Basis, a non-profit group devoted to aiding and advocating for survivors of sexual and home violence throughout Kazakhstan.

In 2017, Kazakhstan’s criminal code underwent amendments that resulted within the decriminalization of home violence offenses, reworking them into administrative somewhat than felony offenses. Critics argue that the decriminalization of home violence contributed to the casualization of domestic abuse.

HRW additionally criticized Kazakhstan in its 2024 World Report, stating that it “didn’t meaningfully handle persistent human rights violations in 2023 or guarantee accountability for previous abuses.”

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