Kazajstán - Judicial harassment against trade union leaders

The practice of judicial harassment against union leaders is still at work in the country. Mr Baltabay and Ms Kharkova, trade union activists who have both been imprisoned in recent years, are still respectively subject to imprisonment and restricted freedom of movement.
Mr Baltabay, leader of the Industrial Union of Employees in the Fuel and Energy Sector, which is currently in the process of being dissolved, was released from custody on 20 March 2020, but remains to this day prohibited from exercising any public activity, including union activities, for the next seven years. Following this conviction, Mr Baltabay was forced to resign from his post.
As for Ms Kharkova, who was president of the KNPRK, she is still today subject to a restriction of her freedom of movement issued in July 2017 for four years and a ban from exercising any function in a public or non-governmental organisation for five years. Ms Kharkova needs to regularly present herself at the law enforcement office. Her sentence of restricted freedom has been effectively prolonged by one month since the authorities decided to calculate the period from the date when the court sentence was actually received by the probation service for execution instead of from the date when the sentence came into force. Instead of 5 October 2021, the restricted freedom sentence will end, according to the authorities, on 9 November 2021.
Other trade unionists are still banned today from exercising any function in a public or non-governmental organisation as a measure of reprisal for their trade union activities, including Amin Eleusinov and Nurbek Kushakbaev, who were initially arrested in 2017.

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