Kazakhstan: MEP speaks out against repression

"Despite this ferocious oppression, the opposition and discontent of the working class cannot be silenced"

Paul Murphy, European Parliament, Brussels, 9 May: "Mr President, since the brutal massacre of oil workers and their supporters in Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan, in December last year the human rights situation has worsened even further.

Brutal repression and intimidation are being used against anybody who speaks out against the farcical show-trials of the 37 people supposedly responsible for the tragic events in Zhanaozen, and indeed anybody who speaks out against the authoritarian Nazarbayev regime. On the morning of 28 April 2012, activists Larisa Boyar, Baxatjan Toregozhina and Kanat Ibragimov were arrested before participating in a protest, and were jailed for 15 days. On the night of 19 April, the freelance journalist Lukpan Akhmedyaroy was brutally attacked by five people and stabbed eight times.

Despite this ferocious oppression, the genie seems to be out of the bottle in Kazakhstan, and the opposition and discontent of the working class cannot be silenced. This is seen in the victorious strike of thousands of workers in the copper-mining company in Zhezkazgan. This important victory shows the potential power of the working class. I support the struggle of the workers there to ensure that concessions are granted."

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