Open letter from the daughter and son of Mukhtar Ablyazov to the Prime Minister of France, asking him not to execute their father. 

Letter to
Prime Minister of France Mr Manuel Valls:
Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Mr Laurent Fabius:
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

We hope this letter reaches you in time, because soon another piece of paper will come across your desk and it will require your signature to extradite our father, Mukhtar Ablyazov, to Russia or Ukraine. However, what that piece of paper will not say, is that it’s a request for an execution of an innocent man.The death penalty was abolished in French law in 1981. It is now also forbidden by the French constitution and we beg you to realize that our father´s extradition is simply that, an execution.

Why is this extradition different to any other? Well, to answer that, we do not have to look very far. Our father is a pioneer for democracy (the very foundations of what France is built on), a reformer and one of the last surviving leaders of the opposition in Kazakhstan. Most of the others are all dead or incarcerated. It is no secret to you or anyone else that Kazakhstan has been crippled by a clever but nonetheless a ruthless dictatorship for over 26 years. It is also no secret that Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia are brother nations that have fought side by side through two World Wars under one flag. These countries and especially the leadership are so deeply intertwined that the Kazakh authorities won´t even have to ask to eliminate our father. The freedom that they enjoy in Russia and Ukraine will allow them to do it themselves (plenty of historical evidence, which illustrates this point).

The regimes in Kazakhstan and Russia have been and are still killing opposition leaders (more so with the recent Western Sanctions against Russia, which have lead to escalation) within their borders and abroad. The recent assassination of Nemtsov (who was a personal friend of our father) is only the latest proof that our father´s life is truly in your hands. Our father’s political associates and friends in Kazakhstan (Sarsenbayev and Nurqadilov) were also assassinated. Some say our father is a political opponent in Kazakhstan and not in Russia, but the fact is that in recent years Moscow has been working with Astana to destroy opposition activities that our father has relocated from Kazakhstan to Russia.

We beg you not to trust Russia or Ukraine (and consequently Kazakhstan) to respect our father´s right to live, never mind his right to anything else. We beg your decision to reflect and take into account the recent kidnapping of our mother and little sister from Italy to Kazakhstan by the Kazakh regime. An outrageously criminal act committed in order to use our family as pawns against our father. The Italian authorities, thanks to the resilience of Emma Bonino, eventually returned our mother and sister to Italy and they now hold political asylum.

We do, of course, understand that your office demands you to make difficult decisions to foster economic ties and national welfare on a daily basis. However, we are certain that you agree that national economic ties built on the death of another Nation´s hope for change, reform and democracy is an opportunity cost too heavy to bear.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, by not approving our father´s execution, you will not only stand with your European allies in the belief that it is not safe to extradite our father but you also, as a leader of one of the oldest democracies, will uphold and save the democratic values of another nation.

Madiyar Ablyazov and Madina Ablyazova

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