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Posted on 8 June 2012 at 12:32 GMT

Exiled Kazakhstan leader comes to London

Regime clamps down in Kazakhstan

At 3pm on Saturday 9 June, at Friends Meeting House on Euston Road in London, Esenbek Ukteshbayev from Kazakhstan will be one of the international speakers at the sixth annual National Shop Stewards Network conference.

Esenbek, president of Zhanartu independent union in Kazakhstan, has been imprisoned and persecuted for his principled opposition to the regime, suffering more than one attempt to assassinate him.

Kazakhstan is a brutal dictatorship run by Nursultan Nazarbayev - friend of Tony Blair and many British business concerns.

On 5 June, news came of the death, in extremely suspicious circumstances, of a close colleague of Esenbek in the leadership of Zhanartu, Takhir Mukhamedzyanov.

Takhir was also a leader of the miners in the Karaganda coalfield and has previously narrowly escaped attempts on his life by unknown persons, believed to be working hand in glove with the state.

The European Parliament has specifically condemned the Kazakh regime for its persecution of Zhanartu in the past.

This week also saw the sentencing of Zhanaozen mine workers for the 'crime' of striking and coming under police attack, in which up to 200 workers died.

Esenbek is a supporter of Campaign Kazakhstan. Campaign Kazakhstan fights for democratic, social and workers' rights in Kazakhstan and aims to highlight the conditions facing workers there and organise international solidarity.

Many trade union branches and human rights groups have linked up with Campaign Kazakhstan internationally, and Paul Murphy MEP has raised the campaign's demands in the European Parliament. Jeremy Corbyn MP, Alan Meale MP and Billy Bragg have all supported the campaign.

Also at the NSSN conference will be a live link-up with workers in Greece who are fighting back against the atrocious austerity measures being imposed on them.

From a Campaign Kazakhstan press release

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