Kazakhstan: MEPs condemn repression of opposition activists

“I, Clare Daly, member of the Irish Parliament strongly condemn threats by the Kazakhstan authorities…” Socialist Party TDs add voices to international outcry

Paul Murphy (Socialist Party Ireland) Member of the European Parliament and six other MEPs sent a letter of strong protest to the Kazakhstan authorities on 21 September. The MEPs made clear their strong opposition to the threats by the Kazakhstan authorities to arrest and imprison Ainur Kurmanov, Esenbek Ukteshbayev and other leaders of the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan.

Clare Daly and Joe Higgins, both Socialist Party TDs (members of the Irish parliament) also sent messages of protest to the Kazakh authorities on 19 September. Clare Daly commented: “This threat is clearly an attempt to behead the growing opposition to the increasingly dictatorial Nazarbayev regime”.

Pressure is mounting on the Kazakhstan regime, from trade unionists, elected public representatives, human rights organisations and many individuals. Make sure your voice and organisation is added. To view a model protest letter and for details of where to send protests etc, see our previous article on socialistworld.net Kazakhstan: “Kurmanov to be jailed?”

Protest Letter from MEPs

We, as Members of the European Parliament, strongly condemn threats by the Kazakhstan authorities to arrest and imprison Ainur Kurmanov, Esenbek Ukteshbayev and other leaders of the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan. This threat is clearly an attempt to behead the growing opposition to the increasingly dictatorial Nazarbayev regime.

We understand that the Movement’s lawyer was phoned by police on 14 September and told that these two and other leaders will be charged with “arbitrariness” or “despotism” – absurd allegations that can carry a custodial sentence of up to two years. It is likely that further ‘crimes’ will be added, once the case comes to court, and that up to twenty-five other people may also be accused of similar offences.

These attacks arise due to the tremendous struggle organised by the Leave People’s Homes Alone (LPHA) campaign, which has defended people against evictions. It is now widely suspected that the regime will use these cases to remove key activists and to close down all genuine opposition organisations. We condemn this attempt to jail these opposition movement leaders and support the campaign for basic democratic rights in Kazakhstan.

This threatened crackdown follows the visit, last July, by Paul Murphy MEP (Socialist Party, Ireland) who met with striking oil workers in Kazakhstan and human rights/ democratic rights activists.

Both the European Union Permanent Council and the US delegation to the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were compelled to protest over the imprisonment of oil workers’ lawyer, Natalia Sokolova, the continuing imprisonment of the human rights activist, Evgeniy Zhovtis, and the blocking of web sites in Kazakhstan.

We condemn any attempt to stop the two opposition leaders, Ainur Kurmanov and Esenbek Ukteshbayev, travelling to Warsaw in October at the invitation of the OSCE to attend its annual ‘Human Rights Dimension’ conference. The two opposition leaders intend to highlight the Kazakhstan regime’s shameful record on worker’s and prisoners’ rights, as well as the continuing assault on democratic rights.

We call for:

  • The immediate dropping of all charges against Mr Kurmanov, Mr Ukteshbayev and the other activists of the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan
  • No repressive measures against the Leave People’s Homes Alone campaign
  • No restrictions on the right of Kurmanov and Ukteshbayev to travel to attend the OSCE Human Rights Conference
  • The immediate registration of the Republican Workers’ Trade Union (Zhanartu)
  • The immediate release of Natalia Sokolova, the lawyer for the striking oil workers in Zhanaozen and Aktau.

Yours sincerely,

MURPHY Paul MEP

KILL-NIELSEN Nicole MEP

CHOUNTIS Nikolaos MEP

DE BRÚN Bairbre MEP

MEYER Willy MEP

WILS Sabine MEP

SCHOLZ Helmut MEP

The CWI relies on the donations from working class people around the world to fund our campaigns.Please donate towards building the CWI.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*