Kazakhstan: Socialist activist Ainur Kurmanov jailed for 14 days on trumped-up charges

Send urgent protests – For the immediate release of Socialist Resistance leader!

Today we learned that a law court in Almaty, Kazakhstan, sentenced Ainur Kurmanov, leader of Socialist Resistance Kazakhstan (CWI), to 14 days in jail. Reportedly, the court decided to charge Ainur with organizing an “unsanctioned picket” in front of the ATF Bank in the city, a couple of months ago. The same ridiculous charge was made by the court last month and thrown out, at that trial, by the judge (see ‘Kazakhstan: Farcical trial of socialist Ainur Kurmanov’, socialistworld.net, 26/03/2010). During that hearing, Peter Taaffe, General Secretary of the Socialist Party (England and Wales), and Rob Jones from the CWI Russian section, were in court. This international scrutiny undoubtedly had an impact on the attempted travesty of justice. The March trial was a farce from start to end. The trial was farcical. As the March trial quickly established, the “unsanctioned picket” was organized by the trade union of the First of May Mechanical Factory from Ust Kamenogorsk, who were protesting at the attempts of the company’s shareholders to shut the factory and asset strip it. The police “witnesses” against Ainur were quickly revealed to be stooges. At the end of the trial, the judge announced Ainur not guilty.

This was the first occasion for some time that Ainur has not received a 2 week sentence from such a court, a result undoubtedly due to the wide support given to Ainur locally and also the presence in the court of representatives of the CWI. Ainur was, however, fined 25000 tenge (125 euros) for being in a place from which he had been banned by a previous court decision.

The Kazakhstan regime clearly fears the influence of socialist fighters like Ainur, who is also a well-known spokesperson for ‘Kazakhstan 2012’, an initiative driven by the CWI, aimed at uniting the different social protest movements and independent trade unions. Recently at its founding conference, Kazakhstan 2012 called for the nationalization of the banking and construction sectors, for militant campaigning to achieve full democratic rights for the population of Kazakhstan, and for the capitalist system to be replaced with socialism.

Regime fears opposition

The Almaty judge’s actions today – sentencing Ainur to another two weeks in jail – may well been motivated by the absence on this occasion of observers from the international workers’ movement in court. But the CWI will ensure this outrageous sentence is made known around the world and that it will bring about many protests. It is essential that pressure is maintained on the Kazakhstan regime, which claims to be a democratic state but, in reality, is no more than a police dictatorship with the pretence of a parliament. This is particularly the case because Kazakhstan is currently Chair of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the very body that is supposed to safeguard human and democratic rights!

This attack on an uncompromising fighter for workers and the poor in the Kazakhstan cannot be accepted. Please send urgent protests demanding Ainur’s immediate release to:

·The Procuror in Almata at gp-rk@mail.online.kz and to

·Your local Kazakhstan Embassy

Please send copies of your protests to:


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April 2010