Kazakhstan: ICJ observes appeal against psychiatric detention of a lawyer

Today, the ICJ observed a hearing in a case concerning Zinaida Mukhortova, a lawyer detained until recently in a psychiatric facility, allegedly for carrying out her professional duties, but released on 1 November.

At the hearing on 2 December, the Karaganda Regional Court confirmed the lawfulness of her detention, upholding the earlier decision of the Balkhash City Court of 20 August 2013, to grant the motion of the Prosecutor’s Office to detain the lawyer.

“The likelihood of her repeated detention for the lawful exercise of her profession has risen following this decision,” Almaza Osmanova, an ICJ observer present at the hearing, commented.

The deputy Head of the Medical Facility in which Zinaida Mukhortova (photo) was detained, Doctor R.R. Iskahakov was present at the hearing and insisted on the lawfulness of her detention.

The ICJ previously reported Doctor Iskahakov’s refusal to release lawyer Mukhortova until all the court proceedings had been completed.

The ICJ trial observation mission consisted of two observers: Almaza Osmanova, a practicing lawyer from Kyrgyzstan and Kayum Yusufov, a practicing lawyer from Tajikistan.

The ICJ has previously made statements following lawyer Mukhortova’s detention and subsequent release from the psychiatric facility:

Kazakhstan: ICJ welcomes release of a lawyer from psychiatric detention

Kazakhstan: psychiatric detention of lawyer must be ended


Róisín Pillay, Director, ICJ Europe Programme, roisin.pillay(a)icj.org

Temur Shakirov, LegalAdviser, ICJ Europe Programme, temur.shakirov(a)icj.org

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