(Mar. 21, 2011) On March 18, 2011, the Zhalkair District Court in Kazakhstan began hearings in a case in which prison officials are accused of torture of inmates and of abuse of office. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in a remand center in Kokshetau, which is the administrative center of one area in the northern region of the country. The proceedings were reported by a nongovernmental organization, Coalition Against Torture.
In July 2010, the organization had received information about cruel treatment, including beating of prisoners, at the facility, together with reports of inmates protesting the treatment and committing self-mutilation. The group sent representatives to the prison, where they received 18 complaints about ill treatment of inmates. In all, they estimate 27 people were victims of torture. (Court Starts Hearing into Torture Cases in Jail, INTERFAX-KAZAKHSTAN ONLINE (Mar. 18, 2011), World News Connection online subscription database, Doc. No. 201103181477.1_be36002f1fde81ea.)