Urgent appeal for signatures to save the life of Vadim Kuramshin

Posted by T on June 05, 2014
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Supported by Campaign Kazakhstan

Political prisoner Vadim Kuramshin has begun a protest hunger strike to the death!

We demand urgent attention be given to him – medical help and an immediate transfer to a safer environment.

Please read the petition below and click here to sign as soon as you have read it. We need a thousand signatures in the next two days!

Please fill your name, mail id and country.

Urgent action for Vadim Kuramshin


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To President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev

General Prosecutor of Kazakhstan, A. Daulbaev

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, K. Kasimov

Committee for the Criminal Correction System (KUIS) of Kazakhstan, B. Berdalin

International Human Rights organisations,

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Frontline Defenders,

Freedom House, Special United Nations Rapporteur on torture and other, inhumane or humiliating treatment and punishment

Yesterday, 3 June 2014, we received information from the lawyer of political prisoner Vadim Kuramshin, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and is currently held in the Prison Section EC 164/4, Gorny Posyelok (Zhaman sopka), Esilsky district, North Kazakhstan region.

The information about the first day of Vadim Kuramshin’s hunger strike was published on the Internet, with his statement of protest against “illegal methods of mistreatment and intimidation” on the part of the administration of EC 164/4, pressurising him into denouncing the recent article written by his wife Ekaterina Kuramshin.

The recent photograph of Vadim Kuramshin, which has also been published, shows his debilitated physical and psychological condition and signs of physical abuse.

Before his arrest, Vadim Kuramshin severely criticised this particular Prison EC 164/4, and this, in our opinion, is the reason for the maltreatment, which puts his life and health in danger from the authorities of this prison.

We demand an urgent intervention and an immediate end to the intimidation and torture of Vadim Kuramshin!

We demand urgent medical attention and help to Vadim Kuramshin!

We demand the transfer of Kuramshin from EC 164/4 to another prison that has no connection to Kuramshin’s work for the rights of prisoners, where he would receive an impartial treatment.

We also demand prosecution of those guilty of abuse in the administration of EC 164/4.


Президенту Республики Казахстан г-ну Н.Назарбаеву

Генеральную прокуратуру РК г-ну А.Даулбаеву
Министерство внутренних дел РК г-ну К.Касымову
КУИС РК г-ну Б.Бердалину
Международные правозащитные организации
Амнистия Интернешнл, Хьюман Райс Вотч, Фронтлайн Дефендерс, Фридом Хаус, Специальному докладчику ООН по вопросу о пытках и других жестоких, бесчеловечных или унижающих достоинство видах обращения и наказания

Вчера, 3 июня 2014 года, поступила информация от адвоката политзаключенного Вадима Курамшина, осужденного на 12 лет, и находящегося в Учреждении ЕС 164/4 посёлок Горный (Жаман сопка), Есильского района, Северо-Казахстанской области. В интернете опубликовано уведомление Вадима Курамшина о начатой им голодовке в знак протеста «от незаконных методов преследования, давления» со стороны администрации ЕС 164/4 с требованием написания опровержения ранее опубликованной статьи, его супруги Екатерины Курамшиной. Опубликована фотография Вадима Курамшина, где видно, что Вадим доведён до крайнего физического истощения, видны следы избиения и плохое психологическое состояние.
Учреждение ЕС 164/4 ранее, до осуждения, неоднократно критиковалось В.Курамшиным, и поэтому мы считаем, что жизнь и здоровье Вадима находится в опасности.
Просим, срочно вмешаться в ситуацию, прекратить физическое и психологическое давление на Вадима Курамшина!
Срочно предоставить В.Курамшину медицинскую помощь!
Перевести Вадима Курамшина из учреждения ЕС 164/4 в другое безопасное учреждение, которое не имеет конфликта с В.Курамшиным из-за критики условий содержания.
Привлечь к ответственности виновных, в лице руководства ЕС


Supreme Court in Astana denies justice for Vadim Kuramshin

Posted by T on November 26, 2013
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The case against Vadim Kuramshin’s twelve year prison sentence fell on deaf ears in Kazakhstan’s highest court, Monday 25 November. The three judges remained impervious to the pleas of Vadim’s two lawyers and his mother. His representatives blew holes in the prosecution’s arguments and the court’s decision to overturn a unanimous jury’s verdict that Vadim is innocent.

Vadim’s family is bitterly disappointed but determined not to let the case rest. They now intend to challenge the validity of the Supreme Court’s decision through the auspices of the United Nations Organisation.

More detail will be given of the sham re-trial in Astana and also of the international outcry internationally. Among those expressing their anger and indignation will be the esteemed body of internationally renowned lawyers who have awarded Vadim the Ludovic-Trarieux 2013 prize, which his mother will be receiving on his behalf in Paris on 5 December.

Angry protests are needed once again to be sent to the Nazarbayev regime via embassies and consulates around the world. This following text can be used as a model for protests:

I/we are outraged by the callous and high-handed attitude of your country’s Supreme Court in rejecting the appeal of Vadim Kuramshin on 25 November. His lawyers were fighting to overturn a previous court decision to imprison Vadim for twelve years. They cited the unanimous jury decision to dismiss his case. But this was over-ruled by the Supreme Court.

We know Vadim to be a tenacious fighter for justice – inside and outside Kazakhstan’s hellish prisons. We believe the authorities have singled out Vadim for especially harsh treatment to act as a deterrent against all opposition to the Nazabayev dictatorship.

We will continue to give our fullest support to those fighting for justice in all spheres of Kazakhstan society.

Copies please to



Solidarity requested for housing campaigners

Posted by T on November 18, 2013
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A life and death campaign is being conducted by housing campaigners who have taken to the dangerous road of a hunger strike protest. They are fighting attempts by the authorities in Kazakhstan to evict people who are burdened with housing debts that they cannot afford to repay and who, with their families, have nowhere else to live. Many of them have been suffering crippling illnesses and would rather die than be thrown onto the streets.

About 30 desperate people have been refusing food for nearly one month now; others from among the original hunger strikers have been hospitalised. The participants are members of the Leave the People’s Homes Alone housing campaign with participants from Almaty, Shimkent, Astana and other cities.

We have received a request for a flood of messages to be sent to the hunger strikers and suggest they be along the following lines:

We wish to express our solidarity with the hunger strikers in Kazakhstan who are demanding assurances that their homes will not be re-possessed.  

We are very aware of the obstinacy of the regime, the banks and president Nazarbayev in refusing to show leniency. It would cost them little to immediately resolve this issue in comparison with the huge sums of money they use to guarantee their own luxurious way of living.

We admire the courage of these protesters but hope that no one will go so far as to lose their lives. The regime would once again be responsible for the deaths of ordinary people who oppose them and must face growing anger inside and outside the country.   

We express our sincere hope for a speedy resolution of this issue and our solidarity with the struggle for an end to the Nazarbayev dictatorship in Kazakhstan.

Messages of solidarity to be sent via the president of the Leave the People’s Homes Alone Campaign at:-   and protests to local embassies which can be found here.

Copies please to

Also please click on the link below and scroll down to where you see a space for your email address. Fill it in and then press where it says подписать with a red background.

Support hunger strikers, risking their lives for housing justice

Posted by T on November 15, 2013
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Fight forced evictions from only homes!

Campaign Kazakhstan has received an appeal from housing campaigners for international support. At present several dozen people are refusing to take food in protest at the Nazarbayev government refusing to stop banks evicting them from their only homes.

United Nations Rapporteur, Raquel Rolnik, who was recently in Britain pointing out the injustices of the Con-Dem government’s  ‘bedroom tax’, was in Kazakhstan in 2010. Her report to the Kazakhstan government urged the implementation of the international law which speaks of what should be an inviolable right to shelter.

Now human rights activists from the Central Asian Network “For Social Inclusion” have sent to bodies of the United Nations on this issue. They have set up an online petition requesting an immediate response to an indefinite hunger strike by citizens who are victims of violations of the right to adequate housing in the Republic of Kazakhstan. It urges UN member states to take effective measures to ensure the proper application of legal practices and law enforcement.
We ask readers to support and sign the petition, which states:

Adequate alternative housing is not being provided under the law of the Republic of Kazakhstan for those borrowers (of money for housing) who are being subjected to forced evictions. Over a long period of time, commercial banks, with the active assistance of the judiciary and public officials, has been depriving citizens of their only homes, which is leading to poor health and threatens the lives of all family members (including children, the elderly , the ill and disabled), to a rise in homelessness and social exclusion . In this way, the activities of banks involved in mortgage lending with the full connivance of the state, have purposefully aimed at severely limiting/infringing the right of all citizens to a decent standard of living , the most important component of which is the right to adequate housing. (Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic , Social and Cultural Rights) .

Please click on the link below and scroll down to where you see a space for your email address. Fill it in and then press where it says подписать with a red background.

Vadim Kuramshin appeal date set

Posted by T on November 07, 2013
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It has been confirmed this morning that that the case against Vadim Kuramshin will be reviewed in Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court on 25  November. All those believing he has been cruelly wronged by being sentenced to 12 years imprisonment on trumped up charges will welcome this news. Hopefully, the highest authorities have been affected by the international campaign in his defence and the unanimous decision of a jury that he is innocent will be reinstated. Campaign Kazakhstan, along with others, will be aiming to ensure there are international observers at the court hearing to ensure that real justice is done.

We look forward to a successful outcome but letters of protest and support should keep coming in.

Messages should be sent to your nearest embassy: find

Letters can be sent by post to: Supreme Court: 010000, Astana, 39 D. Kunayeva Street. Russian or Kazakh speakers can phone: +7 (7172) 74-75-85 or +7 (7172) 74-77-18. Email:

Copies by email to:

Jailed lawyer, Vadim Karamshin, to go on hunger strike from 5th November

Posted by T on October 29, 2013
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The human rights lawyer, Vadim Karamshin, currently in prison in North Kazakhstan, has announced he will go on hunger strike from 5th November. He says he intends to continue until he gets a proper reply from the General Prosecutor’s office to his request to review his case.

At the beginning of August he received a letter rejecting his request on the grounds that it was not possible until the Supreme Court had reviewed the case. However, that review had actually been completed on 15th July. When a second letter was sent to the Prosecutor, the rejection was this time justified on the basis that Vadim had not sent a copy of the Court order. This also was not true; he had included a copy of the order with his letter. Vadim considers this to be a form of psychological torture.

As Campaign Kazakhstan has detailed elsewhere, Vadim Kuramshin was imprisoned on trumped up charges at the end of last year and sentenced to prison for 12 years. His real crime is that he has become a well-known campaigner for prisoners’ rights and, in particular, has highlighted the continuing scandal of torture widely used in the country’s prisons.

No end to torture

This practice continues despite government assurances that it is ‘being dealt with’. Just this week a new group of prisoners from Institute AK 159/5 in the Karaganda region has approached the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan for help. In their letter they describe: «They do not try to reeducate us. They try to cripple us, to make us brutal and helpless, they just beat and humiliate us. They force us to march around, irrespective of whether we are ill or not, and to sing the Kazakhstan national anthem. They march us so much, our boots wear out in a month. If we refuse to work, they put us in the punishment cell where we are beaten by all those who are not too lazy to do so. The money we are supposed to earn all goes into the pockets of the guards. Every day they come up with some new intrigue against us…” The prisoners are afraid for their lives as they are forced to run back to their cells with sacks over their heads and in handcuffs.

The refusal of the authorities to guarantee Vadim even those basic legal rights he is supposed to get under Kazakhstan law has forced him to take the drastic step of a hunger strike. By doing so, he hopes to attract the attention of such bodies as the European Parliament, the OSCE and international media to his plight, and that of all those prisoners currently being held in inhuman conditions in Kazakhstan jails.

Vadim’s wife reports, following a recent visit, that due to the campaign in Vadim’s support, at least in his prison, the prison guards have to treat him with some respect. He has passed a message on to express his warm thanks to all his friends, supporters and journalists – to those who have not forgotten him. He writes, “I personally want to send my thanks to Ainur Kurmanov, to Campaign Kazakhstan, to all comrades in Britain and the whole Committee for a Workers’ International. And of course my thanks to the Association of Lawyers and Advocates, who have decided to award me the prestigious “Ludovic-Trarieux” prize, of which I am genuinely proud”.

An appeal is being made to mark 5th November, when Vadim starts his hunger strike, by sending protests demanding that an immediate review is made of his case, that all charges against him be dropped and that he be released from detention in time to receive the Ludovic Trarieux prize in person. These should be sent to the Kazakhstan embassy in your country (which you can find at:
Letters of solidarity can be sent to Vadim via
To let the authorities know that Vadim has support outside, letters should also be sent by post to: Vadim Kuramshin, Severnaya Oblast Kazakhstan, Yesilskii paiun, Poselok Gornii, Uchr EC 164/4, Kazakhstan 150506
Please also send copies of emails to for our information.

A warning strike by oil-workers in West Kazakhstan’s Mangystau region

Posted by T on October 18, 2013
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New threats by employers against trade union

Several hundred workers at the TOO “Yugo-Vostochnaya Servicnaya Gruppa” held a two-hour warning strike last week. These workers, engaged in servicing oil equipment in the Mangystau region are organized in the independent trade union “Aktau”, which is affiliated to the “Zhanartu” union. Their main demands are over pay and working conditions.

In January, a trilateral commission met involving the management, trade union and city government chaired by the Deputy Governor of the Mangystau region Aldashev. He instructed the employer to find a way of resolving the dispute with the trade union. However, the General Director of the company, Andrei Tishenko has ignored all the negotiation procedures outlined in the Labour code, even though the trade union has ensured that all its letters and requests have been within the law.

Eventually the trade union submitted an appeal with the City Prosecutor’s office, complaining that the employer was ignoring the Labour code, but the prosecutor simply ignored the appeal.

The inaction by the Prosecutor’s office and the crude refusal of the employer to follow procedures has led to growing anger amongst the workers and the two-hour warning strike.

Early this week a delegation from the management “visited” the workforce. Amongst the ten were the general director and his various assistants and deputies, including the head of the company union Kalbai Akhatov. During stormy discussions, the director accused Berdygul Tlemov, activist in the already 100 strong trade union “Aktau”, of causing all the problems in the organisation. He refused to recognise the warning strike as legitimate. Such was the intimidation, Berdygul ended up with a dramatically increased blood pressure and had to be taken by ambulance to hospital.

Director Tishenko stated that he refused to recognize the independent trade union, which is (at least for now) against Kazakhstan law.

Please send protests to the General Director of  TOO “Yugo-Vostochnaya Servicnaya Gruppa” Andrei Tishenko on with copies to

Latest news on Esenbek Ukteshbayev

Posted by T on October 07, 2013
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He is being held in solitary confinement without any contact allowed from the outside world, including with a lawyer. He has gone on hunger strike to protest against his sentence. For more information on this case see here

Please send support and protests to your nearest embassy and to the campaign 

Latest news on Astana housing protest

Posted by T on October 04, 2013
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Not deterred by the mass arrests in Astana and the jailing of two of their leaders, housing campaigners from around the country returned to the government square and successfully handed in all their individual letters. They have returned to their homes to await a response, but protests about the detention of their leaders should continue.

Breaking news – 200 arrested today on housing protest in Astana

Posted by T on October 01, 2013
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200 arrested today on housing protest in Astana

Summary trials in process

Latest details here

Send protests via nearest embassy []