Kazakhstan Abolishes Death Penalty

Before that, there was a moratorium on the death penalty in the country

The upper chamber of Kazakhstan’s parliament Senate has adopted a draft law on erasing the death penalty as a punishment from the Criminal Code of the country.

Once the draft law is signed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the death penalty in Kazakhstan will be fully abolished. The most severe punishment for crimes now is life imprisonment.

«The adoption of the draft law has proven that Kazakhstan is a state that fully complies with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Moreover, our country is going to be one of the 106 other countries which have abolished the death penalty. This decision indicates that our country pays more attention to human rights,» said Aset Chindaliyev, deputy Attorney General of Kazakhstan while delivering a speech in the Senate.

The official also noted that Kazakhstan can now deny extraditing criminals if they face the death penalty in their home countries.

The scope of application of the death penalty in Kazakhstan shrank gradually. In the 1990s the country used to use the death penalty for 26 types of serious crimes. In 1997 when Kazakhstan adopted a new Criminal Code, the death penalty was used for 18 types of crimes. On December 17, 2003, the country introduced a moratorium on this type of punishment.

In 2005 Kazakhstan joined the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The document rules that the right to life is an inalienable right of every person. 

Last year Kazakhstan also joined the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In early 2021 the document was ratified with one caveat: the country wanted to save the death penalty for four types of serious crimes. However, in November 2021, during a meeting of the National Council of Public Trust, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev suggested abolishing the death penalty in full with no caveats.

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