IGE Facilitates Roundtable at Kazakhstan Embassy
As a continuation of IGE’s programs on religion, security and citizenship in Central Asia—including conferences in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan—and based on our trusted relationships in the region, IGE was asked to facilitate a frank discussion on human rights, religion and CVE in Kazakhstan with a delegation of high-level government officials visiting from the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Roundtable discussion took place on March 9th at the Republic of Kazakhstan’s Washington, D.C. Embassy. The delegation included Ms. Elvira Azimova, Deputy Minister of Justice; Mr. Marat Azilkhanov, Vice Minister of Culture and Sport; and, Mr. Birzhan Nurymbetov, Vice Minister of Public Health and Social Development. The discussion, chaired by Dr. Martha Brill Olcott, IGE Senior Fellow and visiting professor at Michigan State University, focused on media and internet freedom, NGO law, safeguards on torture, labor rights and trade unions, as well as religious freedom in Kazakhstan. The U.S. participants included U.S. government agencies (U.S. Department of State, U.S. Commission on International Religious Rights, and U.S. Agency for International Development); Human Rights Organizations (Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and National Endowment for Democracy); and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable representing a variety of NGOs and faith communities.