José Bodes, Francisco Luna, Robert Gonzalez and Ivan Frites, Secretaries of the Executive Committee of the United Federation of Petroleum Workers of Venezuela (Fop), wrote to the Kazakh authorities, strongly condemning threats by the regime to arrest and imprison Aynor Kurmanov and Esenbek Ukteshbayev, and other leaders of the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan and the Leave People’s Homes Alone (LPHA) campaign.
The oil workers’ leaders also supported the ongoing strike by oil workers in West Kazakhstan, now in its fourth month, despite threats, repression, the arrest of its leaders and the suspicious and unexplained murder of two relatives of strikers. The strikers’ lawyer, Natalia Sokolova, has been given a heavy prison sentence on trumped up charges.
A protest letter was also sent by the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores (PRT), in Venezuela, to the authoritarian regime of Nazarbayev.
Berlin embassy picket
Earlier this week, several protesters went to the outskirts of Berlin to the Kazakh Embassy. They showed solidarity with both the oil workers’ strike and the Leave People’s Homes Alone (LPHA) campaign in Kazakhstan.
They requested to see the ambassador to hand over an official letter from the German section of the CWI (SAV), but instead they sent a deputy to see the protesters.
The deputy denied that there is repression in the west of the Kazakhstan, the oil workers’ region, but he was taken aback by the facts of state repression the protesters listed. The deputy assured the protesters that he would hand their letter over to the ambassador and that he would also inform his superiors in the capital, Almaty.
The protesters warned that there will be more international protests if the Kazakh repression continues.
We call on supporters across the world to step up their campaign in protest at the actions of the Kazakhstan Authorities (to view a model protest letter and for details of where to send protests etc, see ‘Kazakhstan: “Kurmanov to be jailed?” http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5284).