Tuesday 20 September 2011

Lewisham NUT sends protest to Kazakhstan

As well as discussing the immediate priorities of building the pensions campaign and other important business, Lewisham NUT's General Meeting also agreed to send a message of protest to the Head of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan and the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan in support of striking oilworkers and to protest against the repression of opposition leaders:

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An all-members meeting of the Lewisham Teachers Association (National Union of Teachers) in South London held on September 19th 2011 resolved to send this message of protest in support of fellow trade unionists in Kazakhstan and also to send a donation to the strike fund of the oilworkers.

We have been following events in Kazakhstan with concern, particularly having heard opposition leader, Esenbek Ukteshbayev, speak to a conference of trade unionist here in London in 2010 and having heard the reports from the 2011 visit by Paul Murphy MEP (Member of the European Parliament, Socialist Party, Ireland) who met with striking oil workers in Kazakhstan and human rights/ democratic rights activists.

We strongly condemn threats by the Kazakhstan authorities to arrest and imprison Esenbek Ukteshbayev as well as Ainur Kurmanov, and other opposition leaders

We condemn this attempt to jail these opposition movement leaders and support the campaign for basic democratic rights in Kazakhstan.

We call for:

-The immediate dropping of all charges against Ainur Kurmanov, Esenbek Ukteshbayev and other activists

-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 in October.

-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.

- The reinstatement, with no preconditions, of all those who have been sacked

- Negotiations to start with the elected representatives of the strikers

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