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Kazakhstan: Human Rights

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL6657, tabled on 7 March 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government, given the reported violations of human rights in Kazakhstan and the treatment of former Prime Minister Karim Massimov, what assessment they have made of (1) the threat to the UK’s long-term relations with Kazakhstan, and (2) the UK's wider security interests in the region.

Answered on

21 March 2022

The Government is following events in Kazakhstan closely. We greatly regret the loss of life and injuries sustained as a result of unrest in January and condemned the violence and destruction of property that occurred. We await a full account of what led to these unprecedented events.

In my recent meetings with Kazakh counterparts, including Deputy Foreign Minister Vassilenko on 2 March, I [Lord Ahmad] asked for an update on the commission set up by President Tokayev to investigate the causes of the violence. We have stressed that this process should be conducted urgently, transparently and effectively, and have sought reassurance that Kazakhstan's international human rights obligations, including commitments to due process and freedom of speech and expression, will be respected.

Kazakhstan is an important partner for the UK. We have built a productive dialogue and wide-ranging ties over the 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, sharing experience and jointly tackling global challenges including on security issues. We are committed to furthering that cooperation and will seek opportunities, with international partners, to encourage the economic and social reform priorities set out by President Tokayev.