ADC Memorial spoke at the session of the UN CERD on the problems of ethnic minorities in Kazakhstan

This week, the state report of Kazakhstan will be considered by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination during its 106th session. In the statement at the meeting of the Committee with the NGOs, ADC Memorial raised the problems covered in its alternative report. First of all, it is the anti-Dungan pogrom that took place in 2020 and revealed a crisis in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations in Kazakhstan. To resolve the conflict, such measures are needed as a fair trial, elimination of the practice of ethnic profiling, legal assessment of the officials’ and law enforcement agencies’ actions during the pogrom, adequate compensation to the victims, public discussion of the situation, guarantees of freedom of speech and independent work of human rights organizations.

The issue of the rights and security of ethnic minorities from the XUAR of the PRC seeking asylum in Kazakhstan was also raised. ADC Memorial urged to guarantee their right to asylum, as well as to stop prosecution of human rights experts and activists who collect and publish information about repressions in the XUAR.

ADC Memorial also drew the Committee’s attention to the problems of ethnic minority languages ​​(Uighur, Dungan and others) and their position in the education system, urging the government of Kazakhstan to pay more attention to their preservation and development. Along with guarantees of high-quality teaching of languages used in higher education (Kazakh, Russian, English), for minority languages, state policy should also elaborate indicators of support and development (assessments of the competence of speakers and of increase in their number).