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Brussels, 29 September 2017 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has condemned the decision by the South Kazakhstan Regional Appeal Court confirming the sentence imposed on trade union leader Larisa Kharkova, as a political decision which flies in the face of the rule of law. Kharkova has been sentenced to four years' restricted movement, 100 hours of forced labour, and a ban for five years on holding office in any ngo or public organisation.

 

Trade union representatives and even Kharkova's own family are also being subjected to intimidation. On 14 September her son's car was set on fire, and representatives from her union KNPRK also report irregularities with their vehicles and having identity documents stolen.

 

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said "Along with this unjust and politically motivated court decision, there are now real fears for the safety of Larisa Kharkova, her family and others from the KNPRK. We call on the government of Kazakhstan to cease its campaign against a trade union organisation which is being persecuted simply for upholding workers' rights, and to ensure the safety of those who are being threatened and targeted. The authorities should rescind the sentences imposed on her and on other KNPRK representatives, respect the right to freedom of association of all workers in the country, and open a genuine dialogue with the KNPRK to resolve the legitimate grievances of its members."

 

To read the letter to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev: https://www.ituc-csi.org/letter-kazakhstan-intimidation-and?lang=fr&var_mode=calcul

The ITUC represents 181 million workers in 163 countries and territories and has 340 national affiliates.

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