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Lawyers and legal professionals of the Republic of Kazakhstan develop a strategy to protect participants of peaceful assemblies

At the third online training for the legal community and lawyers of the non-profit sector, participants learned the specifics of administrative proceedings in cases related to peaceful assemblies and learned how to build a defense strategy.

We remind that online trainings are held for defense lawyers and defenders of the non-governmental sector of the Republic of Kazakhstan as part of the project to protect the rights of Kazakhstani citizens during peaceful assemblies. The project is implemented by the Legal Policy Research Center (Almaty) with the financial support of the Soros-Kazakhstan Foundation.

The speaker of the third online training was defense lawyer, a member of the Almaty Bar Association, Zhan Kunserkin.

According to the expert, from the point of view of universal human rights and fundamental principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, any mass actions of citizens, including those of a protest nature, should be considered exclusively as peaceful gatherings of citizens.

“In all cases of protest actions in connection with the 2019 presidential elections, no citizen was charged with using stones, sticks, flyers, gas cylinders and other items usually used during mass riots,” Zh. Kunserkin.

It is also established that the vast majority of citizens who received legal assistance from lawyers as a result of peaceful assemblies in 2019 have minimal experience of communicating with the police and have not previously been brought to administrative and criminal responsibility.

“For such citizens, administrative proceedings are unfamiliar, and it is extremely difficult for them to represent their interests in administrative proceedings,” the speaker notes.

During the online training, participants analyzed specific cases and learned how to jointly build a strategy and position to protect their potential clients – both ordinary passers-by who were accidentally detained during a protest action, and direct participants in peaceful assemblies.

During the training, important issues for the defense were studied, such as the client’s language and violation of the language of legal proceedings, features of working with clients with disabilities, detailed study of administrative offense protocols, appeal of an administrative decision in court and access to appeal.

The speaker also reminded the audience that, according to article 10 paragraph 2 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan on administrative offenses:

2. No one is required to prove their innocence.

3. Any doubts about guilt shall be interpreted in favor of the person against whom the case of an administrative offense has been initiated. Doubts arising in the application of legislation on administrative offences should also be resolved in its favor. Online trainings are held within the framework of the project “Building capacity of the legal community to provide legal assistance and protect the right to peaceful assembly”

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