Kazakhstan excluded the death penalty from the Criminal Code at the end of last year, before that there was a moratorium on it. The head of state believes that changes should also be made to the Constitution “Kazakhstan proposed to enshrine the abolition of the death penalty in the Constitution” />
The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, speaking with a message to the people of the country, said that the abolition of the death penalty should be enshrined in the Constitution, ATPress reports.
“For the final fixing of the decision on the abolition of the estimated penalty, it is necessary to make appropriate changes to the Constitution”,— noted the president.
Kazakhstan completely abolished the death penalty at the end of 2021, when Tokayev removed this type of punishment from the criminal code. Prior to that, since 2003, the country had a moratorium on it.
In January last year, Tokayev signed the law “On the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at the abolition of the death penalty”, which was adopted at the UN General Assembly in New York in 1989. However, the Kazakh side joined the pact with one reservation— on the admissibility of the death penalty in wartime.
In the fall, the lower house of parliament approved amendments to the Criminal Code, according to which it was proposed to exclude the death penalty from 13 articles of the code, retaining this type of punishment for especially serious crimes. However, Tokayev called for the adoption by the parliament of the abolition of capital punishment without any exceptions.
Despite the moratorium, the courts in Kazakhstan could sentence perpetrators of crimes to death, but instead they are kept in colonies for life under the most severe conditions. The last death sentence was handed down in 2016 to Ruslan Kuklekbaev, who shot nine people in Almaty. He is kept in a prison in the Kostanay region in a special room and does not have contact with other prisoners, Sputnik Kazakhstan wrote.
On January 26, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev said that the suspension of the country's membership in the Council of Europe and PACE opens up the possibility for the return of the death penalty. However, the automatic return of this punishment after the withdrawal from the CE and the denunciation of agreements and conventions is impossible— In 2009, the Constitutional Court explained that Russia maintains an indefinite moratorium on the death penalty, which cannot be canceled without the Constitutional Court returning to this issue.
In December 2021, the head of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin allowed that at a certain historical stage the return of the death penalty in Russia is possible, noting that this issue cannot be closed as long as there is a practice of deliberate killings. Pavel Krasheninnikov, head of the State Duma Committee on Legislation and State Building, said at the time that lifting the moratorium was impossible for both legal and emotional reasons. He explained his point of view by the fact that in Russia, as in other states, many judicial errors are made, and the death penalty— an irreversible situation.
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