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Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan: Risk of criminal prosecution of human rights defender Mr Alexander Osadchenko
Kazakh human rights defender Mr Alexander Osadchenko has been illegally detained in a pre-trial facility in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, since his arrest on 10 June 2012 by Kazakh policemen.
He is now facing a risk of being extradited back to Kazakhstan where he might face criminal persecution. Alexander Osadchenko is a human rights defender in the town of Priozersk, Central Kazakhstan, investigating cases of corruption and acting as a legal representative of citizens in the local courts. Prior to his arrest, he was dealing with cases related to social and economic rights of local citizens, including the non-payment of retirement fees as well as other cases related to corruption by the local authorities.
On 20 October 2012, the General Prosecutor's office of the Republic of Kazakhstan sent a letter to the Prosecutor's office of the Karaganda region regarding the case of Alexander Osadchenko. The letter contains a request to the local Prosecutor's office to verify information that Alexander Osadchenko has been a victim of illegal activities by local policemen in the city of Priozersk, who allegedly falsified materials during the criminal investigation against the human rights defender.
In May 2012, Alexander Osadchenko travelled to Kyrgyzstan for family business. On 10 June 2012 he was detained in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, by two Kazakh policemen from Priozersk, and brought to the Police Department of Bishkek. Upon arrival, he was reportedly put into pre-trial facility number 1 of Bishkek city, where he has been held in detention ever since. Later, in August 2012, he applied for political asylum in Kyrgyzstan while being held in detention. On 11 August 2012, the senior investigator of Karaganda regional police in Kazakhstan, L. E. Halmetova, sent the local police a document claiming that Alexander Osadchenko “went into hiding before the criminal case was opened” and thus should be extradited back.
On 28 July 2010, the Priozersk Police Investigative department had decided to launch a criminal investigation against the human rights defender. He was accused of presenting falsified documents in the court as legal representative in a civil case, under Article 348 (Falsification of evidence) and Article 24 (Preparation for a crime and an attempted crime) of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan.
Alexander Osadchenko is now facing a risk of being extradited back to Kazakhstan where he might face criminal persecution. Moreover, it is not clear on which grounds the authorities in Kazakhstan demand extradition of Alexander Osadchenko since the criminal case against him has never been officially opened.