Prison officers interfere with work lawyer
21 August 2015

Prison officers interfere with work lawyer


On 24 July 2015, lawyer Snezhanna Kim met with one of the clients in a detention facility in Kostanay. On this visit, she was harassed by officers of the facility.

During Snezhanna Kim’s meeting with her client, an officer of the detention facility came into the room and demanded to read the notes that Kim made during the meeting. The lawyer’s notebook was laying on the table, and before she had a chance to take it away, the officer began reading the notes in it.

After the meeting with her client ended, the officer of the detention facility again requested Kim to show her notes, threatening her that she would otherwise be obstructed or prevented from visiting clients in the detention facility in future. She refused to show her notes, with reference to the lawyer-client privilege. When she attempted to leave the room, the officer closed the barred iron door in front of her, thereby preventing her from leaving. He told her that she would not be allowed to leave until she showed her notes. After about 15 minutes, the lawyer was eventually allowed to leave the detention facility.

Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the situation of lawyers in Kazakhstan. We were informed about other lawyers dealing with sensitive cases who are subjected to harassment or disbarment on improper grounds, presumably, to prevent from doing their work. On 7 August 2015, Lawyers for Lawyers submitted a submission to the UN Human Rights Committee in advance of the Committee’s examination of Kazakhstan’s compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In this submission, Lawyers for Lawyers highlighted Kazakhstan’s failure to protect its lawyers.

Lawyers for Lawyers calls on the Kazakh authorities to ensure that Snezhanna Kim and other lawyers are able to freely carry out their professional activities.

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