- Vladimir Karcev, PEN International Secretary Hori Takeaki, PEN International President John Ralston Saul, Aliya Turusbekova, PEN International Executive Director Carles Torner.
September 26, 2014 – A PEN International delegation visiting Kazakhstan have had a request granted to visit imprisoned journalist Vladimir Kozlov. The delegation included PEN International President John Ralston Saul, International Secretary Hori Takeaki, Executive Director Carles Torner and a representative from Kazakh PEN Centre. The group met with the Head of the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Nigmatulin, and the Chairman of The Committee of Criminal and Executive System Colonel Baurzhan Maratovich Berdalin. The delegation discussed freedom of expression issues in the country and also met Kozlov’s wife, Aliya Turusbekova.
Vladimir Kozlov is a journalist, human rights campaigner and founder of political opposition party Alga! (Forward!). In October 2012, he was convicted of ‘inciting social hatred’ and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order of the state; he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years custody, which he is currently serving in a penal colony in Zarechnoe, Almaty.
PEN International Executive Director Carles Torner, and Kazakh PEN Member Vladimir Karcev will visit Kozlov tomorrow. Kozlov is a PEN International Main Case and PEN has been campaigning for his release.