Kazakhstan: 5 year prison sentence of human rights defender Roza Tuletaeva upheld

June 10, 2013

Roza TuletaevaRoza Tuletaeva

On 28 May 2013, the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan upheld the five-year prison sentence of human rights defender Roza Tuletaeva, in relation to a demonstration that took place on 16 December 2011 in the town of Zhanaozen. During the demonstration police opened fire and killed at least sixteen people.The human rights defender was one of the leaders of the workers strike in the oil company OzenMunaiGaz, which had begun in May 2011. She was also the movement’s main spokesperson for journalists and international organisations. Her initial sentence of seven years imprisonment was reduced in August 2012 to five years.The original hearing began on 27 March 2012. On 16 April 2012, Roza Tuletaeva testified that she  had been subjected to torture during her detention. She stated that plastic bags were put over her face in an attempt to suffocate her, she was hung by her hair and she was “too ashamed to disclose in front of her family and relatives” what had happened to her when she was taken to different rooms by various men in civilian clothes.On 4 June 2012 the human rights defender was sentenced to seven years in prison by the Aktau City Court under Article 2411 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan which refers to “the organisation of mass unrest accompanied by violence, arson, wrecking and destruction of property, the use of fire arms, explosives, or explosion devices, as well as armed resistance to a representative of the state authorities”. Her sentence was  reduced from seven to five years on 6 August 2012.On 23 November 2012, the Mangistau regional court rejected a complaint lodged by the human rights defender regarding two previous refusals to initiate a criminal investigation into the torture she reports being subjected to while in pre-trial detention. On 22 April 2013 Roza Tuletaeva went on a hunger strike because she was refused medical assistance necessary for treatment of problems of the liver. The prison authorities made a concession on the same day and she ended her hunger strike. On 13 May 2013, during a previous appeal hearing in the Supreme Court, Judge Kozhan Tulebaj announced that he received a letter from Roza Tuletaeva asking for pardon from the authorities and demanding a new lawyer. However, Roza Tuletaeva’s daughter, Ms Aliya Tuletaeva, states that this letter was written by the human rights defender under pressure.  Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

via Kazakhstan: Prison sentence of human rights defender Ms Roza Tuletaeva upheld | Front Line.

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