TRANSCRIPT: Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2016  Ambassador Baer’s Interview with RFE/RL Central Asia Service December 14, 2016 Neuer Saal, Hofburg Palace Vienna, Austria QUESTION:  Journalists are being intimidated, attacked, and recently one of our journalists, another one, was arrested, as you might have heard.  Allashov was arrested along with at least five members of his ...
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Concern about Conviction of Kazakhstani Civil Society Activists Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan | Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned about the fairness of the legal process that resulted in the recent decision of the Kazakhstani regional court in Atyrau to convict and sentence Maks Bokayev and Talgat Ayan to five years in prison each for their alleged roles in organizing peaceful demonstrations in the spring of 2016. The United ...
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Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief | Statement at Working Session 12 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of religion or belief is a founding principle of the Helsinki Process. Unfortunately, a small number of participating States engage in consistent, systematic violations and abuses of the freedom of religion or belief.
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Statement at Working Session 5 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of association is necessary for the fullest exercise of the freedoms of expression and of religion or belief, and for the conduct of free and fair elections. It is a cornerstone for the rights of persons seeking to form independent trade unions.
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Democratic Institutions | Statement at Working Session 1 of HDIM 2016

Elections are an essential element of democracy and a cornerstone of democratic institutions. The U.S. greatly appreciates the OSCE’s invaluable role in election observation – indeed, this organization has developed what is known as the “gold standard” for its methodology on evaluating elections.
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Condolences to the People of Turkey and Kazakhstan: Statement to the PC

We are deeply saddened by the barbarous terror attack that occurred yesterday in Istanbul. Such senseless violence could never be rationalized by any cause. We were further saddened to hear of another attack today. We wish speedy recovery to the injured and extend condolences to the family & friends of those who lost their lives. We extend ...
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On Freedom of Peaceful Assembly in Kazakhstan: Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned about restrictions on the right of freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression of the media in Kazakhstan, including the recent detention of journalists and protestors in connection with anticipated demonstrations over land reform. In Copenhagen in 1990, OSCE participating States agreed that “everyone will have the right of ...
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Response to Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Zarudna back to the Permanent Council, and thanks her for her report. Ambassador Zarudna, with the adoption of a new mandate in December 2014, the former OSCE Center in Astana has transitioned to the current Program Office. We hope that the Program Office has been able to continue to work ...
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On Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan: Statement to the PC

The United States concurs with the preliminary findings of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission on the April 26 presidential elections in Kazakhstan, which concluded that, “preparations for the 26 April election were efficiently administered, however, necessary reforms for holding genuine democratic elections still have yet to materialize.” The lack of a genuine political opposition limited ...
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On Draft Legislation in Central Asia Impacting NGO Operating Space: Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned about the introduction of draft legislation in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan that could restrict the operating space for non-governmental organizations. While each piece of draft legislation is distinct—and its supporters may claim a legitimate interest to facilitate activities in the NGO sector—we believe it is important for these governments to ...
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On the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, Kazakhstan: Statement to the PC

In connection with the adoption of the Decision for the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, the United States would like to make the following interpretative statement under paragraph IV.1(A)6 of the OSCE Rules of Procedure. The United States has reluctantly joined consensus on the new mandate for the OSCE field presence in Kazakhstan, now called ...
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