The meeting was held following the results of Manfred Nowak’s seven-day trip to Kazakhstan in the course of which he met with relevant ministers and visited the state bodies of the penitentiary system and specialized patient care institutions.
“As the whole civilized community, Kazakhstan strongly does not accept torture and other cruel treatment,” the State Secretary stated at the meeting. – It is precisely this fact that caused President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s decision to join the UN Convention Against Torture and the Facultative Protocol to It, active cooperation with the relevant UN mechanisms and bodies and international organizations on prohibition of this problem. We realize the importance of complying with this Convention and are confident that the mission of the UN Special Rapporteur on these issues in Kazakhstan and the recommendations made by the Committee following the results of the visit would be very useful for our work carried out in this sphere.
As is known, last year Kazakhstan made a declaration provided for in the Articles 21 and 22 of the Convention Against Torture (providing individuals a right to complain of alleged torture to the Committee Against Torture) and ratified the Facultative Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (regular visits of the representatives of independent international and national agencies to the institutions of confinement). In November 2008, the second report on Kazakhstan’s observance of this convention was submitted at the session of the UN Committee against Torture. The elaboration of the Actions Plan on realization of the conclusive recommendations of the Committee against Torture is being currently held on the interdepartmental level.
The current visit of Manfred Nowak is the first visit after these steps, and the leadership of Kazakhstan attached great importance to this visit, having provided an unimpeded access to the objects of the penitentiary system.
“I am grateful for the excellent level of cooperation from the side of all state agencies. I had a dual goal: to impartially assess the state of affairs with tortures and to present to Kazakhstan recommendations made by the Committee on solving the existing problems and on the development of cooperation. And I could achieve both these goals,” Manfred Nowak stressed at the meeting.