Zarechnoye, Kazakhstan, 23.01.2015
UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, met Vladimir Kozlov. His intention to visit the oppositionist was previously communicated by the head of the Kazakh branch of Freedom House, Victoria Tyuleneva. The visit was summarised for the portal respublika-kaz.info by Kozlov's wife, Aliya Turusbekova.
Kiai visited the penal colony in Zarekhnoye along with a full entourage - an assistant, a translator and fifteen representatives of the Kazakh authorities, Turusbekova reported. She believes the delegation included representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the National Security Committee, the Prison System Committee (КУИС) and the Prison Service Department (ДУИС). As Aliya noted, they all attended a meeting which continued for over two hours and which was recorded.
Turusbekova also talked about the impression Kia made on Kozlov. In the oppositionist's opinion, the UN Special Rapporteur was very well informed - both about the situation in Zhanaozen and about his case. He, nevertheless, asked Kozlov to present his story from the moment of his detention in January 2012 and talked about the court battles which took place after the pacification of the oil workers' strike.
During the meeting, Kozlov requested the UN representative look into the case of Muratbek Ketebayev, co-founder of the independent Alga!, recently arrested in Spain. He also asked him to greet one of the leaders of the strike movement in Zhanaozen, Roza Tuletayeva. During his visit to Kazakhstan, Kiai intends to visit Astana, Zhanaozen and other regions affected by the strike in 2011.
It was on 19th January that Kozlov learned that he would see the UN Special Rapporteur. On that occasion, he was summoned by the establishment's authorities who instructed him how to behave during the meeting. He was advised not to criticise the system or the colony.
Kiai made his official visit to Kazakhstan upon an invitation from the government. Apart from Kozlov, he also met representatives of the civil society, journalists and bloggers. On 27th January, a press conference summarising the visit will be held.