As the Kazakh government hosted high-profile international events, including EXPO 2017, an annual international exhibition, and several rounds of Syria peace talks, its human rights record further deteriorated. Authorities suppressed independent trade union activity and continued to target government critics, including journalists, with politically motivated criminal charges and other harassment. Several activists and union leaders remain wrongfully imprisoned. The government is considering legislative amendments that appear to propose even further restrictions on freedom of religion. Impunity for torture and ill-treatment in detention persist.
SHAKHTINSK, Kazakhstan -- A strike by coal miners in north-central Kazakhstan has spread to more mines as hundreds of workers are refusing to return to the surface, demanding higher salaries and better benefits.
On September 29, 2017, the appellate instance of the Regional Court of Shymkent upheld the decision of the Yenbekshinskiy District Court of the Town of Shymkent. It will be recalled that on July 25, 2017, Judge Svetlana Shinaliyeva of the Yenbekshinskiy District Court of the Town of Shymkent returned a guilty verdict to the KNPRK President Larisa Kharkova, sentencing her to four years of restricted freedom of movement, one hundred hours of community service, and a 5-year ban from holding leadership positions in non-governmental associations and other non-commercial organisations. The sentence also prohibits Kharkova from changing her place of residence and her place of work, visiting certain places, and leaving town without permission from competent bodies.
The global trade union movement is calling on the government of Kazakhstan to review the conviction of a prominent labour leader in a case that has been described as a “blatant violation of human and trade union rights in Kazakhstan.”
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has written to the President of Kazakhstan and the EU’s Foreign Affairs Representative demanding justice for Larisa Kharkova, a leader of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, who was sentenced in late July to 100 hours of forced labour, four years restriction on her freedom of movement and a five-year ban on holding any position in a public or non-governmental organization.
IndustriALL addressed to the leadership of Kazakhstan demanding to influence the situation and review the unjustified court sentencing of Larisa Kharkova, Nurbek Kushakbayev and Amin Yeleusinov.
The ITUC has condemned the sentence handed down against trade union leader Larisa Kharkova by a Kazakhstan court today as a travesty of justice, and an affront to democracy.
After two weeks full of intense activity and meetings the International Labour Conference ended in Geneva on 17 June
The latest ranking of workers’ rights includes the global top ten, of which no country in 2017 should want to be a part.
The Nazarbayev regime is using informal and formal methods to squeeze out NGOs, independent media and trade unions. Western governments should pay attention.