President of Kazakhstan will not challenge Finding that Draft Law is Unconstitutional

March 2009 – Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev will not be challenging the ruling of the country’s Constitutional Court that a draft religion law was unconstitutional, the Court said. The Court declared the restrictive draft law, titled, “Law on Amendments and Additions to Several Legislative Acts on Questions of Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations,” unconstitutional in a decision announced on February 11, 2009. The president then had up to a month to challenge the decision. However, the Constitutional Court announced on March 11, 2009, that it was informed by the presidential administration this will not happen. Kazakhstan citizens, however, remain wary that new laws imposing similar restrictions will be pushed through at some time in the future. “This is not the end of the attempt to adopt such a law,” Yevgeny Zhovtis, head of the Almaty-based Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law, said. “I think they will try again.”