SI Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea Almaty, 2-3 May 2011

Meeting in Almaty, the SI Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea reiterates its fundamental commitment to democracy and human rights in Kazakhstan and in Central Asia. A lack of fair and transparent elections, an unrestrained executive branch and a direct dependence on the judicial system and its officials represent great obstacles to democratic development in Kazakhstan.

We remain concerned by the refusal of the re-registration of the NSDP ‘AZAT’ by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The unfounded and partisan reasons given for this refusal over the last year and a half reflect the lack of openness and democratic will shown by the current administration, and we call on the authorities to immediately rectify this situation.

The Committee expresses its full support to the NSDP ‘AZAT’ ahead of the parliamentary elections which are due to be held soon in Kazakhstan. The International intends to conduct its own monitoring of these elections, and calls for the poll to be held under free and fair conditions. Should this be the case, the Committee has every confidence that the NSDP ‘AZAT’ will win a strong representation in the parliament of Kazakhstan.

The International denounces authoritarianism and all political regimes that seek to impose their policies through violations of human rights, censorship and the suppression of peaceful demonstrations, reiterating that democracy is a fundamental condition of development and not merely its by-product.

With regard to the current situation in Belarus, the Committee stresses the International’s earlier calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in that country. The present situation of repression, curtailment of freedoms and lack of rights and the continuing imprisonment of presidential candidates and other political activists is totally unacceptable.

The Committee expresses its full solidarity with the democratic forces in Belarus, among them the SI member Belarusian Social Democratic Party (BSDP-NH), and the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada), and reaffirms its commitment to continue working with all Belarusian democrats until the ultimate goal of a free and effective democracy in Belarus is realised.