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Repression in Kazakhstan continues – Clampdown on independent trade unions proceeds and big prison sentences for organisers of peaceful land protests

Correspondents for Campaign Kazakhstan recently reported that up to 20 oil-workers from Mangistau in Western Kazakhstan have been arrested. Some of them, possibly as many as 20, were said to have been taken to Astana for trial and no access to them was being allowed. These workers have been trying to establish independent trade unions with the backing of the International Confederation of Trade Unions.

Today, Human Rights Watch published an article about the repression of the oil-workers, hundreds of whom went on hunger strike which was declared illegal. It also points to trumped up charges brought against two of the leaders and other arrests.

For more detail see: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/01/26/kazakhstan-2-union-leaders-arrested

All this has been happening while Kazakhstan hosts peace talks about the Syrian War. Not a word in the media!

In another development, prison sentences of five years have been meted out to Max Bokayev and Talgat Ayanov for the simple ‘crime’ of organising peaceful protests against land sales last year. (See articles on this site)

Protest to your nearest Kazakhstan embassy and demand the release of all political prisoners and of the trade union organisers, the dropping of all charges and the full freedom of workers to organise independent trade unions.