The death penalty was abolished in Kazakhstan also thanks to the dialogue with Italy

The death penalty was abolished in Kazakhstan also thanks to the dialogue with Italy

Kazakhstan officially abolished the death penalty on January 2, 2021. This was done by the signing by Qasym-Jomart Toqayev, head of State, of the law on the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which obliges the participating States.

The death penalty (as for many years in Italy) had only theoretical application, in wartime for extremely serious crimes of a military nature.

  Not everyone knows that Italy has played a leading role in encouraging, through dialogue, the largest country in Central Asia to finally leave behind this legacy of the Soviet era.  Antonio Stango participated, in 2003, in the Hands Off Cain Mission to Kazakhstan, supported by the Italian government, to help reaffirm the recently adopted moratorium on executions and positively vote on the General Assembly Resolution UN for a universal moratorium on the death penalty.

The following year, life imprisonment was introduced into the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan as an alternative to the death penalty.  In 2006, a seminar was held in Almaty on the abolition of the death penalty with the participation of the Commission of the European Union and the German representation in the country, as well as several high-level meetings on this topic;  Meanwhile, Sant’Egidio community has also actively participated in the dialogue to abolish the death penalty.  The next year, again in Almaty, it was possible to organize a round table with the participation of local and international NGOs and state bodies on this topic, with the participation of the President of the Human Rights Commission under the President, a member of the Constitutional Council, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, a competent parliamentary commission and with the participation of  Bruno Antonio Pasquino, former Italian Ambassador to Kazakhstan (now Ambassador to Iraq).

  The dialogue on the abolition of the death penalty has continued over the years.  Italy also recommended that Kazakhstan maintain a moratorium on executions and assess the possibility of lifting it as part of the universal periodic review process at the UN Human Rights Council.

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