Repression and violent physical attacks against leaders and activists of the independent trade unions in Kazakhstan continue unabated. On July 17, 2019 Erlan Baltabay, the leader of Industrial Trade Union of the Fuel and Energy workers “Decent work” was sentenced to 7 years in prison as well as to a 7-year ban on conducting any public activity.
The trade union which he led was dissolved by the court decision amid a broader crackdown on independent trade union activity. The criminal proceedings against Erlan Baltabay were opened on September 25, 2018 in retaliation for his trade union activism and principled position in support of other leaders of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (KNPRK) condemned to different limitations of their freedoms. These criminal proceedings, as well as those against KNPRK’s leaders Larisa Kharkova, Amin Eleusinov and Nurbek Kushakbaev, aimed to silence activists of independent trade unions and prevent others from taking an active role in demanding freedom of association in the country.
We need your support! Please, join us in calling upon the Kazakh authorities to put an end to persecution and violence against independent trade union leaders, and to ensure freedom and safety for trade union activists in the country.