- For defenders
- How can I help?
Kazakhstan: HRD Ms Roza Tuletaeva provides testimony she was tortured while in detention, concerns over fair trial continue
Ms. Roza Tuletaeva has testified during a court trial on 16 April 2012 that she was tortured while in detention, after being arrested at her home on 3 January 2012.
Roza Tuletaeva faces charges related to a demonstration that took place on 16 December 2011 in the town of Zhanaozen. She is one of the leaders of the workers' strike in the oil company OzenMunaiGaz, which began in May 2011. She has also been the movement's main information contact for journalists and international organisations.
The court hearing on the December 2011 events in Zhanaozen began on 27 March 2012. On 16 April 2012, Roza Tuletaeva testified that she was subjected to torture during her detention: 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 happened to her as she was taken to different rooms by various men in civilian clothes. Roza Tuletaeva's family members were threatened. In August 2011, her daughter was arrested and detained for several days.
Almost all of the 37 defendants on trial have so far fully or partially retracted their previous testimonies which they state were obtained by the police using extensive torture. Many defendants have named the officers who carried out the reported torture. In addition, lawyers of the defendants and local trial observers have expressed concern at procedural irregularities of the court hearing.
Roza Tuletaeva faces criminal charges under Articles 241, 130 and 54 of the Criminal Code which can result in imprisonment from four to ten years, and with fines for material damage to state and private companies and persons. The charges accuse Roza Tuletaeva of the organisation of mass disorder during the demonstration that took place on 16 December 2011 in Zhanaozen, the day of the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, which resulted in a clash between police, former oil workers and member of the public. According to the General Prosecutor's office, 14 people died and 64 people received gunshot wounds as a result of the clash. Police conducted investigations into the actions of demonstrators and members of the public on the day, but not of the police or security forces. For more information, please see Front Line Defenders' original appeal dated 16 January 2012.
Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned at the allegation of torture against Roza Tuletaeva while in detention and urges the authorities in Kazakhstan to launch an immediate and impartial investigation into this. Front Line Defenders also calls for the charges against Roza Tuletaeva to be dropped as it believes that these are solely related to her legitimate and peaceful work as a human rights defender, in particular her defence of the rights of striking OzenMunaiGaz workers. Front Line Defenders express concern at procedural irregularities of the court hearing on the December 2011 events in Zhanaozen and calls for an impartial and fair trial for all defendants.