URGENT ACTION FRIDAY

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xx
Wed Sep 4 01:56:49 MDT 2002


(please forward)

PROTEST THE ARREST OF TRADE UNION ORGANISERS IN KAZAKHSTAN!
PICKET OUTSIDE THE KAZAKHSTAN CONSULATE IN TORONTO
Friday, September 6th from 4:30pm to 6pm
347 Bay Street (Just South of Queen)

For information about protests around the world see
http://www.worldsocialist-cwi.org/Index2.htm?eng/2002/08/29kazakhstan.html

Four activists from the Karaganda Confederation of Free Trade Unions in
Kazakhstan are currently under arrest and are facing serious charges. This
is a continuation of the type of repression doled out to worker activists
who are building an independent class opposition to the authoritarian rule
of gangster-capitalist Nazabayev regime.

Please try to come out on Friday to demonstrate your support for trade union
rights. Your presence can have a real impact! If you aren't able to make it
please contact the Kazakhstan consulate by PHONE at 416-593-4043 OR FAX at
416-593-4037 to express your outrage at their government's suppression of
trade union rights.


*    Free Saken Zhanusov immediately!
*    End repression of the trade unions in Karaganda!
*    Drop the charges against Saken and Rustan Zhanusov, Ramil Mingazov and
Sergei Popov!
*    End repression of the Worker's movement in Kazakhstan!
*    Pay off all wage arrears immediately!
*    Put on trial all businessmen involved in fraud!


The following is an appeal by Rob Jones in Moscow, who is helping to
highlight their case throughout the CIS and internationally:

At a hearing on 28 August, the judge refused to release Saken Zhanusov and
he now faces several months in jail awaiting his trail, the date of which
has not been set.

Saken and his three comrades who are currently on bail are charged with a
total of 9 criminal offences and Saken faces up to 5 years in jail. The
charges are criminal trespass (in their own premises), libel (which is a
criminal, not a civil offence in Kazakhstan) and assaulting officers of the
court.

The latter charge arose when a court bailiff manhandled Saken, including
choking him. When Saken's son, Ruslan went to assist his father, both men
were accused of "attacking" three court officers and three police. The libel
charges relate to a campaign, organised by the trade unions, which exposed
how money due to be paid as wages was being used by local businessmen for
other purposes. As a result of their campaign hundreds of thousands of
dollars have been repaid in wage arrears, but instead of bringing charges
against these crooked businessmen, the court is accusing the trade union of
smearing their character.

The court and prison system in Kazakhstan are designed to defend the
interests of the ruling elite and its business supporters. Saken now faces
several months in prison whilst the police continue their investigations. It
should be remembered that Ionur Kurmanov, a well-known workers' leader and
CWI supporter, and two of his comrades were in a similar position in the mid
nineties and spent 5 months in jail. One of the comrades later died as a
result of the conditions in jail. When Ionur was eventually brought to
trial, the charges proved to be practically unsubstantiated. A tremendous
international campaign of solidarity organized by the CWI was instrumental
in getting the eventual release of the comrades in Uralsk.

In Saken's case, the repressive nature of the charges are so blatant that
the Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Kazakhstan, in effect
the EU Ambassador in Kazakhstan has contacted Saken and told him that they
are very concerned at what is happening and will be officially requesting an
explanation from the Kazakhstan Government.
We say:
*    Free Saken Zhanusov immediately!
*    End repression of the trade unions in Karaganda!
*    Drop the charges against Saken and Rustan Zhanusov, Ramil Mingazov and
Sergei Popov!
*    End repression of the Worker's movement in Kazakhstan!
*    Pay off all wage arrears immediately!
*    Put on trial all businessmen involved in fraud!

The CIS section of the CWI is calling a Day of International Protest on 7
September 2002 (Toronto's protest will be on 6 September). We plan to
organise pickets on that day and around that date at a number of Kazakhstan
embassies and consulates and other representative bodies.

For information about protests around the world see
http://www.worldsocialist-cwi.org/Index2.htm?eng/2002/08/29kazakhstan.html

We appeal to all socialists, workers' movement activists, trade unionists,
community and student activists and human and democratic rights activists to
take action immediately. PHONE THE KAZAKHSTAN CONSULATE IN TORONTO at
416-593-4043 AND VOICE OUR DEMANDS AND/OR FAX THEM TO 416-593-4037.



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