Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President Republic of Kazakhstan, Via Embassy of Kazakhstan in Lithuania
Dear President Tokayev,
In Shymkent, Enbekshin district, Erlan Baltabay, a leader of dissolved Energy and Oil workers union “Decent Work” and an activist of the dissolved Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (CITUK) was recently convicted to 7 years in prison as well as to a 7-year ban on conducting any public activity. In our opinion, the criminal proceedings were opened against Baltabay in retaliation for his trade union activism and principal position in support of other leaders of the CITUK condemned to different forms of limitation of their freedoms. We strongly condemn his conviction as yet another illustration of systematic violations of trade union rights in your country.

These criminal proceedings, as well as those against Larisa Kharkova, Amin Eleusinov and Nurbek Kushakpaev, are a means to silence and repress leaders of independent trade unions and to prevent others from taking an active role in implementing real freedom of association in the country. In June 2019, the International Labour Conference, at its centenary conference, concluded that Kazakhstan systematically violates its international obligations under ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association. We demand that you en the crackdown on the independent trade union movement and take urgent measures to implement without any further delay the conclusions of the ILC Committee on Application of Standards, including the release of imprisoned trade unions leaders, as a matter of priority.

Yours sincerely, Kristina Krupavičienė, Chairperson LTU „Solidarumas“, 2019-07-23, Vilnius, Lithuania