JANUARY 17, 2018
The UN Human Rights Committee has acted promptly on a complaint filed on January 3, 2018, in the name of Teymur Akhmedov. Unjustly detained for nearly a year, Mr. Akhmedov is 61 years old and in poor health. Since the Kazakhstan courts have rejected his appeals and upheld his conviction for alleged illegal religious activity, Mr. Akhmedov has turned to the Committee for relief.
In a communication dated January 9, 2018, the Committee urged Kazakhstan to take interim measures for Mr. Akhmedov’s welfare, even before the Committee makes a determination on his complaint. It prompted authorities to “ensure, without delay, that [Mr. Akhmedov] receives adequate medical treatment and that his conditions of imprisonment are fully compatible with [the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] and international standards.” Further, the communication requests that authorities “consider to release [him] from prison, due to his health situation, or to place him under house arrest while his complaint is pending before the Committee.”
The request for interim measures echoes the concern for Mr. Akhmedov’s welfare as expressed in the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. In October 2017, the Working Group examined a complaint from Mr. Akhmedov and determined that his detention is arbitrary and that the authorities should release and compensate him for the unjust treatment. Until now, the Kazakhstan government has ignored the Working Group’s condemnation of its actions. Mr. Akhmedov has served nearly one year of a five-year prison term.