Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 30 March 2010 at 15:10 GMT

Farcical trial of socialist Ainur Kurmanov, 26/03/2010 website of the comitee for a workers' international, CWI

CWI presence and local support lessens judge's sentence

CWI reporters, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Ainur Kurmanov

Ainur Kurmanov

With the snow covered Kok Tobe Mountains sheering into the sky as a backdrop and temperatures souring to a summery +25, a crowd gathered outside the courthouse in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to protest the latest attempt to silence Ainur Kurmanov, leader of Socialist Resistance Kazakhstan (CWI).

Ainur was pulled before the court on a trumped up charge of organizing an unsanctioned picket in front of the ATF Bank in the city.

In actual fact, the picket was organized by the trade union of the First of May Mechanical Factory from Ust Kamenogorsk, who were protesting at the attempts of the company's shareholders to shut the factory and asset strip it.

But the police, obviously acting on the orders of the country's security service, the KNB, attempted to use Ainur's presence to try and remove him from political activity for two weeks ahead of two important workers' conferences and during the strike of oil workers in western Kazakhstan.


But the attempt failed. Having summoned Ainur to attend the court, first on the 24 March, a national holiday, he was then told to turn up at 11 am on 25 March.

The trial eventually started at 3 pm.

Peter Taaffe, General Secretary of the Socialist Party (England and Wales), and Rob Jones from the CWI Russian section, were in court.

The trial judge seemed suitably impressed when Peter showed his press card, to indicate that any decisions the judge made would be published internationally.

But the trial was a farce from start to end.

The prosecutor and police were unable to show the promised video, which allegedly demonstrated that Ainur had organized the picket.

This is because when shown the video before the trial, the judge would have clearly seen that Ainur's claim - that he was participating as a journalist and taking photographs - was actually correct.

The three witnesses put on the witness stand by the police were amazing. The first was the bank's security chief. He was unable to confirm that he had seen anymore than Ainur talking to two women and that soon after a woman was seen encouraging the picketers to take out and hold up their placards.

Under cross questioning, the first witness admitted that he had not heard what Ainur said to the women and, moreover, that the woman he saw handing out placards was someone else.


The second witness was a nearby car park attendant who admitted that he had seen two men between 30 and 40 years old wearing caps and dark clothes and that one of them had been discussing something.

He could not confirm that this was actually Ainur!

The third witness was barely old enough to testify and turns out to have been a law student who had applied to join the police.

He barely understood Russian, the language in which the trail was conducted, and spoke Kazak throughout.

However the supposed statement the police claimed the student had signed had been written in Russian! Despite telling the court that he had seen Ainur organizing the protest, under cross examination the student admitted that this may have not been Ainur at all.

When he was asked how he had managed to witness the event, he said he just happened to be standing on the corner and as he saw the crowd moving, he decided to move along with it.

When Ainur's lawyer pointed out that by joining the crowd he had participated in an unsanctioned picket and was therefore liable to arrest and up to 15 days in jail, this poor lad broke out into a sweat.

As he left the court, he was asked his age. The first of April, he said, before correcting himself to say it was the first of March, then showing his passport to reveal that he was born on the 4th of January!

Police dictatorship with pretence of a parliament

The trial became so farcical - the police witnesses obviously stooges - even the judge started to join in the merriment.

The prosecutor, when summing up, asked for a fine of 50,000 tenge. Just a minute later he apologized to the judge and said he meant 70,000!

At the end, the judge dryly announced Ainur not guilty. This was the first occasion for some time that Ainur has not received a 2 week sentence from such a court, a result undoubtedly due to the wide support given to Ainur locally and also the presence in the court of representatives of the CWI.

Ainur was, however, fined 25000 tenge (125 euros) for being in a place from which he had been banned by a previous court decision.

By making this decision, the judge, in effect, punished Ainur from carrying out his job as a journalist.

This will be appealed.

Around the court building, dozens of people turned out in support of Ainur. Workers who had not been paid or whose employers had disappeared with their money, market traders who had been conned by the government, women who could no longer pay their mortgages after having pay cuts, in short, representatives of all the different groups Ainur has assisted since he has lived in Almaty.

One young lad travelled over 1,000 kilometers, having been released just 3 months ago from prison. He had served a 3 year sentence for writing an article about how the local ruling elite had robbed agricultural workers during the privatization process.

During his jail term, this young man suffered the most brutal humiliations.

These cases just demonstrate how important it is to maintain pressure on the Kazakhstan regime, which claims to be a democratic state but, in reality, is no more than a police dictatorship with the pretence of a parliament.

This is particularly the case because Kazakhstan is currently Chair of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the very body that is supposed to safeguard human and democratic rights!

More material on the political situation in Kazakhstan will follow on the CWI website

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

Related links:


triangleYork Socialist Party: Perspectives from the National Commitee

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: 120 years since the death of Eleanor Marx

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: The Refugee Rights Campaign

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Fighting for women's rights around the world


triangleUndercover policing legal challenge

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

triangleThe "club no-one wants to be part of" - march by families of those killed in police custody


triangleProtests against state repression in Russia and Kazakhstan

triangleSyria: Is an end to the war in sight?


triangleSouth Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

triangleBrazil: Lula conviction confirmed


triangleSalford Socialist Party: The Russian revolution betrayed

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Outrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case


Tamil Solidarity

Facebook sides with state repression - reinstate the Tamil Solidarity page



How can students and young people fight the Tories?


Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland talks process paralysed



Like rats from a sinking Ukip



Blairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor



Tories raid 1bn from NHS facilities budget - unions must act



Usdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil youth march for justice


Foreign Aid

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity



Building support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections



What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in



Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!


Public ownership

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands



We can win the fight for the NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018