The independent trade unions remain under pressure in Kazakhstan. After the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (KNPRK) was de-registered by court order and its bank accounts, equipment and property seized, persecution of union leaders began. In April 2017 Nurbek Kushakbayev, Vice-President of the KNPRK, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Then, in May, Amin Eleusinov, President of the Oil Construction Company Workers’ Union, was sentenced to two years behind bars. Both sentences include deprivation of the right to professional and public activity for 3 years.
On July 25, 2017, a court in the town of Shymkent examined the case of Larisa Kharkova, President of the KNPRK. Despite the absurdity of the charges against her, she has been sentenced to confiscation of property, four years of restricted freedom of movement, 100 hour of compulsory labour monthly, and a 5-year proscription to hold any position in a non-governmental organisation.
The country’s leadership has chosen repressive methods to “investigate” internal activities of the trade union, feels free to interfere with the union’s activities in an unacceptable manner, and makes its own assessments of how a trade union should manage its financial resources. The national Constitution is breached and so is the ILO Convention 87 “concerning freedom of association and protection of the right to organise” which prohibits interference with trade union activities.
The ITUC and the IndustriALL Global Union have launched a new on-line campaign to support the trade union movement leaders in Kazakhstan.
We ask you to support the campaign, demand an immediate release of the arrested unionists, a repeal of the court sentences, and putting a stop to criminal prosecution of independent trade unions’ members.