Original language of petition: English
We, the undersigned, citizens and permanent residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Publicly raise the deterioration of human rights in Kazakhstan with the Government of Kazakhstan and on a global platform;
2. Call on the Government of Kazakhstan to release political prisoners and human rights activists including Bekizhan Mendygaziyev;
3. Demand the Government of Kazakhstan to stop political persecution and suppression of pro-democracy opposition voices; and
4. Join the European Parliament in their application of targeted sanctions against high-ranking officials responsible for the perpetrating of gross human rights violations, repression, arbitrary arrests, persecution, torture, and beating of peaceful protestors and pro-democracy activists.
The freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental to democratic and inclusive societies. The Government of Canada regularly calls on States to respect their international human rights law and international refugee law obligations.
Canada closely monitors political, social, and economic developments in Kazakhstan. Global Affairs Canada maintains an ongoing dialogue with Kazakh authorities and regularly emphasizes the importance of upholding democratic values and respecting human rights. Canada does not hesitate to raise concerns with regards the respect for human rights in Kazakhstan through bilateral and multilateral channels, including on issues such as the right to freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to a fair trial. In various fora, Canada has encouraged Kazakhstan to ensure that these fundamental freedoms are protected, in line with Kazakhstan’s constitution and its obligations under international law.
Canada followed closely developments related to the nationwide unrest in Kazakhstan in January 2022, publicly expressing concern and calling for calm. Since then, Canada has continued to call for the prompt publication of a thorough investigation into recent events by the Government of Kazakhstan. The Government of Canada has welcomed the Government of Kazakhstan’s invitation to civil society organizations and the United Nations special rapporteurs to participate in this investigation.
On January 20, 2022, Canada’s Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe delivered an intervention along with other Participating States, in response to the address by the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan to the Permanent Council meeting. The intervention called for Kazakhstan to meet its domestic and international human rights obligations towards those detained, in particular with respect to due process and conditions of detention. In February 2022, Global Affairs Canada’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe, the Arctic, the Middle East and the Maghreb reiterated Canada’s concerns over reported human rights violations and noted the importance of a full, transparent and independent investigation into the events of January during her meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan.
Global Affairs Canada is aware of and deeply concerned by reports of human rights violations, including of arbitrary detentions related to the January 2022 civil unrest and of unlawful treatment of displaced Uyghurs. Kazakhstan is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention. It has also ratified the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which requires Kazakhstan to perform a non-discriminatory, individual assessment of each person’s status as a potential refugee, including of the risk they face in their home country, which by definition is impossible in an expedited or mass expulsion situation.
Sanctions are an important element of Canada's foreign policy tools. Canada is judicious when it chooses to deploy sanctions and is committed to their effective and coordinated use, when appropriate, along with other tools, which include dialogue, capacity building, advocacy, multilateral engagement, and other diplomatic actions.
The Government of Canada has noted and welcomed the Government of Kazakhstan’s commitment to institutional reforms. It encourages the Government of Kazakhstan to ensure that the promised citizen-focused reforms have a positive impact on the working environment of human rights defenders and journalists, on individuals’ ability to exercise their right of peaceful assembly, and on the ability of civil society to function effectively. Canada remains ready to assist Kazakh authorities and stakeholders with their ongoing efforts and progress towards greater political and economic inclusion.
Canada will continue to remain engaged and closely follow developments in Kazakhstan.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.