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Tokayev signs law abolishing death penalty in Kazakhstan

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan On ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty, the press service of Akorda reported on January 2.

As Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi previously explained in the Senate, the protocol is the second international document adopted by the UN in the development of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Kazakhstan ratified in November 2005.

The use of the death penalty in Kazakhstan was completely suspended on December 17, 2003. Continuing the course of active integration into global processes, as well as taking into account the global trend, in December 2019, Tokayev instructed the Foreign Ministry to begin the procedure for Kazakhstan’s accession to the Second Optional Protocol.

In accordance with the instruction of the President, on September 23, 2020, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, Kairat Omarov, signed the Second Optional Protocol.

Thus, by joining the agreement, Kazakhstan undertakes not to apply the death penalty and to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.

The only exception is the death penalty is allowed in case of wartime. Such a sentence is applicable only after he has been found guilty of committing especially grave crimes of a military nature, which he committed in wartime.

Assistant to the President of Kazakhstan for political issues, Kazakh political and public figure, political scientist, scientist Erlan Karin wrote on his page on social networks: “Today President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan ‘On the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and political rights aimed at abolishing the death penalty’. Thus, the initiative of the head of state to join the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, voiced at the second meeting of the NSOD in December 2019, was finally implemented. This initiative was part of the presidential package political reforms … Soon other important initiatives voiced within the framework of the National Council are on the way. Today, 88 UN member states from 193 countries are parties to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing death by execution”.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted in 1966, entered into force in 1976, and currently 173 states have acceded to it.

The Second Optional Protocol to it, aimed at the abolition of the death penalty, was adopted on December 15, 1989. In 1991, the document came into force, 88 states are members of the agreement.

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