Kazakhstan: Two Union Leaders Released on Parole

The ITUC has welcomed the release from prison on parole of two leaders from Kazakhstan’s independent trade union movement, Nurbek Kushakbaev and Amin Eleusinov, and has insisted that all the charges against them be dropped along with similarly false charges against Larisa Kharkova, president of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (CITUK/KNPRK).

Kushakbaev and Eleusinov were imprisoned for participating in peaceful protests, while Kharkova received a court sentence restricting her freedom of movement and confiscating her property. All three were banned from holding positions in public organisations, including unions.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “We are pleased that our two colleagues are reunited with family, friends and colleagues; however, the government of Kazakhstan must stop its repression of legitimate independent trade unions, withdraw the charges against the union representatives, and end the ban on the CITUK being registered. Kazakhstan’s political and economic partners should remind the government of its obligations to respect freedom of association and other fundamental workers’ rights, and apply pressure on the government if it continues to flout international law.”

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