NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s senate deputies on December 29 approved a bill on the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty.

The protocol is aimed at the adoption by Kazakhstan of international obligations to abolish the death penalty.

Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi said at a plenary session of the chamber that the protocol is the second international document adopted by the UN in the development of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, which Kazakhstan ratified in November 2005.

“The use of the death penalty in Kazakhstan was completely suspended on December 17, 2003. Continuing the course of active integration into global processes, and taking into account the global trend, in December 2019, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed the Foreign Ministry to begin the procedure for Kazakhstan’s accession to the Second Optional Protocol,” the minister said.

Tleuberdi informed, on September 23, 2020, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, Kairat Omarov, signed the Second Optional Protocol.

At the same time, the fact of signing did not mean the immediate entry into force of the provisions of the document.  It is subject to mandatory ratification by parliament.

“The signatory countries take the following obligations: first, not to apply the death penalty, second, to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within their jurisdiction. The only exception is the death penalty is allowed in case of wartime,” Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister said.

The death penalty in wartime is applicable after being found guilty of especially grave crimes of a military nature, which he committed in wartime.

The document adopted by the parliament is sent for signature by the president of Kazakhstan.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted in 1966, entered into force in 1976, and currently 173 states have acceded to it.

The Second Optional Protocol to it, aimed at the abolition of the death penalty, was adopted on December 15, 1989.  In 1991, the document came into force, 88 states are members of the agreement.


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