Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN) reporter Gaspar Matalaev remains imprisoned on false charges of fraud, despite multiple promises to his family that he would be released. Matalaev was arrested the night of October 4, 2016, two days after his report on state-orchestrated forced labor of children and adults in Turkmenistan’s cotton harvest was posted on ATN’s website. He reportedly confessed to fraud charges while being tortured with electroshocks, though when he was arrested police told him it was related to photographs he posted on the internet.
In recent years, the government of Kazakhstan has been limiting trade union rights and freedoms. It is bringing various forms of pressure to bear upon trade union organisations and individual activists. This relentless harassment has now peaked with the Kazakh authorities’ intention to force through the dissolution of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KNPRK