Nursultan reported on January 2 that Kazakhstan President Tokayev signed the relevant bill abolishing the death penalty in the country on the 2nd local time, and Kazakhstan officially became a country free of the death penalty.
Recently, the lower house of the parliament of Kazakhstan held a plenary session on December 23, 2020 to consider and adopt the “Bill on Ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty”.
President Harbin’s signing of the bill means that the legal process of abolishing the death penalty in Kazakhstan has been completed.
Since then, Kazakhstan will officially enter the ranks of countries free of death penalty, but there are also “special circumstances”. According to Foreign Minister Treubelti, under the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, Kazakhstan will reserve the right to use the death penalty against perpetrators of serious war crimes in wartime.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, on September 23, 2020, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, Hairat Omarov, signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, on behalf of the Government of the Government of Kazakhstan at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
In this regard, Foreign Minister Treubelti pointed out that all countries that signed the document will undertake not to use the death penalty again and have the obligation to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within their jurisdiction.
He also said that the abolition of the death penalty is not only a legal issue, but also has a significant social sensitivity because of its moral and ethical significance, “believing that the approval of the relevant bills will further enhance Kazakhstan’s international reputation”.
In fact, it has been quite a long time since Kazakhstan “tried” no death penalty.
In December 2003, then President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan signed a presidential decree to freeze the death penalty provisions in the criminal law of Kazakhstan and to suspend the death penalty indefinitely, except for the perpetrators of terrorist activities that cause death and serious war crimes.
According to local media reports, after the decree freezing the death penalty was promulgated, a total of five people were sentenced to death in Kazakhstan, and a total of 536 people were sentenced to death before the “freeze”.