Kazakhstan: Anti-Union Repression and Violence Continue

The ITUC is demanding that the government of Kazakhstan put an end to the violence, intimidation and judicial persecution of independent trade unions, following the 10 November attack on and brutal beating of Dmitriy Senyavskiy, leader of the Karaganda Region branch of the Fuel and Energy Workers’ Union.

On 25 September, a trumped-up criminal case was brought against Erlan Baltabai, leader of the Fuel and Energy Workers’ Union, affiliated with the banned Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KNPRK/CITUK).

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “The government of Kazakhstan is continuing its campaign to supress independent trade union activity in the country, in violation of its obligations under ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, and fomenting violence and intimidation of those who are standing up for workers’ rights. We call on the government to cease this campaign, fulfil the promises they have made to accept their obligations under international law, and ensure that working people are treated with dignity and respect.”

On 7 November, Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal against the sentence unjustly imposed on KNPRK president Larisa Kharkova.

An international trade union delegation, visiting Kazakhstan following the award of the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights to the independent trade union movement there earlier this year, pressed government officials to end the repression.

Kazakhstan is rated in the 2018 ITUC Global Rights Index as one of the ten worst countries for violations of workers’ rights.

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