Statement by President Migliori on the jailing of Vladimir Kozlov

COPENHAGEN, 9 October 2012 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Riccardo Migliori (Italy) today issued the following statement in regards to the prison sentence given to Kazakhstan opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov, head of the unregistered opposition political party Alga!:

"I am seriously concerned about the judgment handed down by a court in Aktau, Kazakhstan, that sentenced opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov to seven and a half years in prison and the confiscation of his property. Charged on offences such as leading a criminal group and inciting social discord, Mr. Kozlov's conviction followed a non-transparent investigation and a trial that failed to meet international standards. The OSCE PA also takes note of the suspended sentences of four and three years in prison respectively given to opposition activists Serik Saparghali and Aqzhanat Aminov.

"Independent observers reported that the judicial process compromised Mr. Kozlov's right to mount an adequate defence. It can only be concluded that this verdict and the harsh sentence appear designed to send a message to opponents of the authorities in Kazakhstan. As the OSCE noted following Kazakhstan's elections in April 2011, the absence of opposition candidates and of a vibrant political discourse resulted in a non-competitive environment. By intimidating the Alga! party's leaders through the sentence of Mr. Kozlov, the authorities are suppressing one of Kazakhstan's few genuine political alternatives, and I fear that it will lead to an even more constrained political environment in the country."



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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