El diario: Kazakh dissident Alexander Pavlov in the hands of Rajoy
© mukhtarablyazov.org 04.08.2014

Alexander Pavlov, in opposition of the government of the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been enjoying the taste of freedom for just a few days now. On Wednesday, the Second Section of the Criminal Division of the High Court ordered his release subject to the payment of bail in the sum of 30,000 Euros, recognising that he will not flee.

Pavlov's story is a complex one and would do for a movie script. For years he worked as head of security of the main opposition representative of Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Ablyazov. The government of that country, ruling with the iron fist of Nazarbayev, accused him of terrorist attempts, misappropriation and embezzlement subsequently issuing a warrant for his arrest with Interpol.

Both the defence and various international human rights organisations have reported that his case is an “assembly” of the Kazakh government.

In his country he has never been arrested. But on Spanish territory he has... twice. The first time was on December 11 2012 at Chamartin station in Madrid, where he had just arrived from Paris. He was subsequently imprisoned for six months. One month following his release, he was arrested and imprisoned again, being subjected to solitary confinement.

His attempts to obtain political asylum in Spain have been misaddressed. The Ministry of the Interior has consistently opposed his application. Conversely, the Government of Mariano Rajoy has made great strides to extradite him to his country. The judge, Guevara, despite having no jurisdiction over his case almost succeeded in bundling Pavlov onto a plane heading for Kazakhstan. The manoeuvre was aborted; the magistrate became the subject of an investigation, but the CGPJ soon abandoned the issue.

On 17 July last year, the Second Section of the Division of Administrative Litigation of the National Court annulled the decision of the Ministry of the Interior denying him asylum and subsidiary protection.

In Spain, Pavlov counts on the support of several political parties, including the Socialist Party, and the Izquierda Plural and UPyD parties which have even penned a letter to the Government urging it to grant him asylum, understanding that returning him to Kazakhstan will be tantamount to handing him over to a judicial and penal system that offers no minimum guarantees. The Kazakh dissident himself does not hide the fact that he fears being tortured there in view of the conviction of President Nazarbayev who possesses confidential information about leaders of the opposition parties.

In September, he says, he wants to initiate a round of meetings with the Spanish parliamentary parties and groups – “including the PP also, of course,” he clarifies, in order to apply pressure and bring about his desired political asylum in Spain. For now, Pavlov expresses his gratitude to all those who are already campaigning on his behalf and he encourages the young Spanish “indignant” to continue demonstrating in the streets to denounce corruption and lack of freedoms.

Many people in Spain are not familiar with his case, who is Alexander Pavlov?

I am a person who for a long time has worked in the shadows for an opposition leader who was the president and owner of a bank in Kazakhstan. But I have never acted as a public figure and I have never spoken in public. I'm a quite modest person. Sadly, I have somehow become famous in my country and also in Spain, after a series of circumstances. In my country I have been accused of terrorism and fraud. The intelligence services have made ​​great efforts to contrive this situation.

Does the Government of your country have evidence of the crimes imputed to you?

No… none. All the evidence in my case has been falsified by the authorities of Kazakhstan. I learnt about the whole situation and of what I was accused once I was imprisoned in Spain. My lawyer explained to me then that in Spain there were journalists who were investigating my situation. These journalists realised that a military aircraft had been sent to kidnap me and return me to Kazakhstan surreptitiously.

Have you ever been tried or imprisoned there?

What was the attitude of the Embassy of your country in Spain?

The Embassy of my country is only interested in my return to Kazakhstan. This is what they told me when I met with them in January 2013 in the prison of Soto del Real. They insinuated that it was desirable for me to return to my country because that would be the best for my family.

The President of the Open Dialog Foundation interjects to underline that the fact that the representatives of the Kazakh Embassy were admitted to the prison constituted “a very serious offence as Alexander had requested political asylum and yet they still were allowed in. Conversely, she was denied a visit as were other activists of human rights organisations and deputies who support his plight. The only person who was able to visit him in prison was Isabel Santos, a representative of the OSCE” and she only managed to obtain entry after persistent insistence directed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” says Kozlovska.

Have the Spanish authorities maintained any contact with you?

Do you have any theories why the Government of Mariano Rajoy refuses to grant you political asylum and is more inclined to sanction your extradition?

I think it all has to do with the relations that Spain maintains with Kazakhstan, which of late have been quite close… mainly economic relations. Kazakhstan has a great economic impact on Spain, financing contracts and business partnerships between the two countries.

Lyudmyla Kozlovska makes another intervention: “The refusal of political asylum was announced very quickly. The attorneys did not even have enough time to appeal.”. “Another thing of note, adds Kozlovska, is that the report prepared by Spain was made based on another report produced in Kazakhstan stating that (Pavlov) was a danger to society and had to be isolated.” “We could say that Spain sells human lives in return for economic favours” she concludes.

Do you feel like you are being watched?

Now I don’t know. I think not. When I was arrested and released for the first time, yes.

Do you fear for your safety?

Yes, of course.

Didn’t the Spanish Ministry of Interior offer you protection or a guarantee of your safety once released?

Pavlov hesitates. He adds that he also fears for what may happen to his family in Kazakhstan about whom he prefers not to speak or give any details so as to protect his loved ones. Therefore during the conversation he leaves it to the Polish MEP and the President of the Open Dialog Foundation who describe in great detail the repression of the leaders of the opposition groups in Kazakhstan, the lack of freedom of the press and the systematic violation of the minimum democratic rights. Both also emphasise the lack of transparency in electoral processes that “suspiciously” the incumbent President Nazarbayev has always won, having been in power for over two decades.

You say you do not feel like a “political activist”, after this experience, have you thought of engaging in politics?

Yes, I'll engage. Now it is inevitable. I am forced to help those who suffer persecution as I am forced to endure.

Source: eldiario.es