Alexander Mirtchev in Kazakhstan

Today, HRF sponsored the publication of an open letter in the Washington Examiner from human rights defenders in Kazakhstan addressed to U.S. leaders and members of civil society. The letter highlights the crimes and human rights violations occurring under the dictatorship of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Alexander Mirtchev in Kazakhstan

While the government of Kazakhstan regularly employs PR companies and “donates” to think tanks and academic institutions to facilitate the publication of reports portraying their government in a favorable light, activists and human rights defenders often feel powerless to combat those messages.  This letter aims to do just that, highlighting the role of Nazarbayev in the “Zhanaozen Massacre,” in which Kazakhstani state police shot and killed numerous unarmed civilians in December 2011. The letter publicly names the officials, police officers, judges, and security agents accused by Kazakhstani human rights defenders of being involved in the massacre.