Kazakh and American Judicial Experts Hold Round Table Talks on Preventing Terrorism

Representatives of the Kazakh Supreme Court, the Union of Judges of Kazakhstan, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative took part in round table talks to discuss judicial practice concerning cases related to extremism and terrorism, reported the press service of the Supreme Court.

Among the participants were judges of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan and local courts, Federal District Court of Massachusetts Judge Richard Stearns; Director of USAID’s Department for Democracy, Human Rights and Public Administration Bryony James; as well as representatives of Kazakhstan’s General Prosecutor’s Office and National Security Committee. Supreme Court Judge Kambar Nuryshev noticed that methods used by terrorists tend to become more and more complex every year.

“Unfortunately, Kazakhstan couldn’t avoid this danger. One of the most dreadful aspects of such crimes is that young people, who usually haven’t developed a solid set of principles and a mature worldview yet, turn into victims easily influenced by the ideology of terrorism. Moreover, what we can see now is that modern terrorism is changing its tactics and advocating more actively and strategically,” he said.He stressed that the exchange of experience on this topic is vital today.

Over the past five months, 38 people were convicted on charges related to extremism and terrorism in Kazakhstan. Some of them took part in fighting in Syria and Ukraine, said the the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Stearns admitted that he’d learned about the terrorist attacks in Aktobe just before his flight to Kazakhstan and expressed his deep concern over the increasing scale and expanding boundaries of terrorist attacks in the world. In this regard, he called for joint measures by countries and international organisations to confront these challenges.

The American expert also spoke about effective ways developed in the U.S. to combat common calls for terrorist acts appearing in social media, as well as how to work with people who have returned to their homelands from conflicts elsewhere.

Participants agreed that terrorists’ main goal in Kazakhstan is to destabilise the domestic situation in the country, to inflame interethnic strife and to intimidate the population. As a result, it was decided to deepen cooperation in order to counter global challenges, to adjust legislative concepts of terrorism and extremism, to resolve disputable qualifications of crimes of this category, to define common tactics of the struggle and to continue organising constructive dialogues.

At the end of the talks, Stearns promised to provide written recommendations on the issues discussed.