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Elena Semenova

Elena Semenova

HRD, Chairperson
Public Monitoring Commission

Elena Semenova is a human rights defender and the Chairperson of the Public Monitoring Commission (PMC) in the Pavlodar region of Kazakstan, as well as the Head of the public association Leave the People their Housing.  Pavlodar PMC is actively involved in the monitoring of prison conditions and has helped bring approximately 150 cases of detainees, including cases on the grounds of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to the attention of the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Administration of the President. Leave the People their Housing is an organisation that campaigns, litigates and advocates for the housing and property rights of individuals who have lost their homes and lands due to forced evictions.


Human rights defenders in Kazakhstan are particularly active on legal and penal reform, social rights, freedom of expression, and ethnic minorities’ rights as well as democratisation. Unlike other central Asian countries, instances of direct targeting of critical media and influential NGOs are limited. Repression against human rights defenders often takes the form of economic and legislative obstacles, which are effective in hindering their work and more difficult to challenge.