IBAHRI welcomes the abolition of the death penalty in Kazakhstan

Thursday 23 June 2022

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) commends the Republic of Kazakhstan for its ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR-OP2), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty without reservation. With the ICCPR-OP2 entering into force today, 24 June 2022, Kazakhstan becomes the 90th State Party to it.

IBAHRI Co-Chair, and Immediate Past Secretary General of the Swedish Bar Association, Anne Ramberg Dr Jur hc, stated: ‘The death penalty is an abhorrent practice that has no place in the modern world. The IBAHRI applauds the Parliament and President of Kazakhstan’s commendable decision to fully abolish the death penalty by ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We hope that other countries will follow Kazakhstan’s example and put an end to the death penalty in both law and in practice.’

Kazakhstan has had a moratorium on executions since 2003. On 23 September 2020, the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the ICCPR-OP2, committing to eradicate the death penalty. On 23 December 2021, the Senate, the upper chamber of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, approved a bill titled ‘On Introduction of Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan Concerning Abolition of the Death Penalty.’ On 29 December 2021, the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, signed the bill into law, thereby removing the death penalty for all crimes stipulated in the Criminal Code and replacing it with life imprisonment.

Mark Stephens CBE, IBAHRI Co-Chair commented: ‘The IBAHRI welcomes Kazakhstan’s decision to fully abolish the capital punishment. There are several reasons for abolition including that when wrongful convictions occur, they cannot be reversed. Innocent people remain dead. They cannot be brought back to life. Also, studies have shown that the death penalty does not have a deterrent effect on crime. The IBAHRI believes that no state should have the right to take the life of any of its citizens. As stated in Article 3 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.’

Kazakhstan deposited instruments of ratification to the ICCPR-OP2 with the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, on 24 March 2022.


For further information, please contact: the IBA Human Rights Institute at IBAHRI@int-bar.org

Notes to the Editor

  1. On 15 May 2008, the IBAHRI Council adopted its Resolution on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, which considers, inter alia, the clear trend towards viewing the death penalty as a breach of international human rights standards, as well as committing the IBAHRI to actively promoting the abolition of the death penalty.
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  3. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), established in 1995 under Founding Honorary President Nelson Mandela, is an autonomous and financially independent entity, working to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.
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  5. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.
  6. The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for the administration of justice, fair practice, and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, The Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.

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Website page link for this news release:
Short link: tinyurl.com/yckpkcf2
​​​​​​​Full link: www.ibanet.org/IBAHRI-welcomes-the-abolition-of-the-death-penalty-in-Kazakhstan