Kazakhstan: Union Leader Sentenced to Prison

photo: Photo: Ken and Nyetta

The ITUC has denounced the sentencing of Nurbek Kushakbayev, Deputy Chairperson of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, to two-and-a-half years in prison in connection with calls for a strike at the Oil Construction Company.

The Astana City Court No. 2 of Almaty District added a €75,000 fine for “damages” to the prison term.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “We call on the authorities in Kazakhstan to ensure this completely unjust verdict is annulled, and that Nurbek Kushakbayev be freed. He and the other trade unionists being persecuted by the authorities should be allowed to carry out their legitimate trade union activities in accordance with the right of all workers in the country to freedom of association. This verdict will further damage Kazakhstan’s reputation with other countries that are important to its economy.”

Kushakbayev was convicted under Article 402 of the Criminal Code – the first time this article has been applied.

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