From LABOR-L@YORKU.CA Wed May 24 05:39:50 2000
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 00:39:34 -0400
Reply-To: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
Subject: On Political Situation in Kazakhstan
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On Political Situation in Kazakhstan
Workers' Movement of Kazakhstan
Committee, 22 May 2000
President Nazarbaev's speech, broadcasted by all TV channels on April
19, gave signal to a new wave of reaction and further strengthening of
his personal power.
In this chauvinistic speech, he accused opposition organizations and
"independent" press in all social and economic problems of
Kazakhstan, in their alleged "slandering, discrediting the
republic and subverting the foundations of the state by repeatedly
violating the Constitution." By the name of the people this
"guardian of the constitution" promised to change it and to
introduce the martial law, using the army and heavy equipment to
patrol the cities.
This crackdown on the few remaining freedoms, the suspension of
opposition parties, movements, and trade unions, as well as shutting
down a number of publications has become possible, in our view, after
the meeting between Nazarbaev and US State Secretary Madeleine
Albright. Having received the first hand support from American
imperialism the ruling clique now feels that it has been given a carte
blanche in its struggle against the "internal enemy" and the
mythic "Russian threat." Another reason why the regime has
been compelled to increase the brutality of its methods is the
deepening economic crisis which produced a social catastrophe and the
rising political activity of the working class.
The arbitrary power of the repressive apparatus has become absolute in
Kazakhstan. In particular, the secret police, the Committee of
National Security (KNB) is expanding its control into all spheres of
social life. It is this organism which generates all kinds of
"separatist conspiracies," "extremists' rebellions,"
"political diversions of the oppositionists" and other
One example of its activities is the drawn-out trial of thirteen
"terrorists" (twelve of them are Russian citizens) in
Ust-Kamenogorsk, accused in conspiring to separate the eastern part of
Kazakhstan. Similar farce is taking place with the trial of the
bodyguard of the former prime minister Kazhegeldin, who now leads the
bourgeois opposition to Nazarbaev. There have been numerous criminal
investigations opened against Irina Savostianova, the leader of the
Movement of Retired People "Generation" and Madel Ismailov,
the leader of the Workers Movement of Kazakhstan "Solidarity"
who recently spent 15 day in jail for "illegal" meeting.
The regime's interference into the affairs of opposition parties--open
surveillance of party meetings, arrests, layoffs, and blacklisting of
activists, harassment of those who distribute opposition press, bans
on meetings, threats of physical violence to leaders and their
relatives--has reached such proportions that the Workers Movement of
Kazakhstan "Solidarity" (RDKS) and the Communist Party
seriously begin considering a gradual transition to clandestine
methods of work. This measure is called for even more so since the
regime uses psychological pressure and psychotropic substances against
its opponents, while beating and torture of ordinary citizens are
The latter has been vividly demonstrated in the police violence
against the workers and disabled veterans of chemical plants in the
city of Taraza (Dzhambula). The mass demonstration of protesters were
brutally beaten and dispersed by the special police and spetsnaz units
on April 13. Provocations against the workers on hunger strike
continue in Taraza.
As the result of assassination attempt, Anatoly Medvedev, one of the
leaders of RDKS, the First Secretary of Ust-Kamenogorsk City Committee
of CP, was badly mutilated. In Karaganda, the First Secretary of
Regional Committee of CP Viktor Zheliba was registered as a
psychiatric patient, without his or his relatives' knowledge. KNB was
certainly behind this outrage. His comrades in struggle, workers
Zasukhin, Bondarenko, Mikhalev, have been many times thrown into jail
for organizing "illegal" meetings. Threats and court trials
continue against the leaders of the Karaganda Independent Union of
Miners (ANP) communists Ramil Mingazov and Saken Zhunusov, as well as
the harassment against trade union leaders of chemical factories S.
Baiganov and N. Chernogorov in the city of Taraz.
In the end of March, KNB organized a provocation against Ainur
Kurmanov, the First Secretary of the CC of the Leninist Communist
Union of Youth (LKSM), an activist of RDKS and the Chairman of the
Trade Union Committee of "Metallist" factory in Uralsk. He
was jailed for seven days.
Sergei Volobuev, a Secretary of LKSM, had to flee to Belorus because
of endless harassment and the fake criminal case opened by the
authorities against him. Andrei Grishin and Aleksei Martynov, leaders
of student organization "KOSBI" have been repeatedly beaten
and harassed in the course of this year.
Overall, since the beginning of this year there were dozens of
administrative trials in Karaganda, Uralsk, Alma-Ata, Dzhambul,
Ust-Kamenogorsk, Pavlodar, Kustanai and other places of hundreds
activists from RDKS, CP, "Generation," RNPK (Republican
Peoples Party of Kazakhstan), and Slavic movement "LAD."
The arsons of editorial offices, beatings, threats, layoffs of
journalists and pressuring them to leave the country have become
routine. Harassment against mass media organizations like TV Channel
31, newspapers "XXI vek," "Nachnem s ponedel'nika,"
"Soldat," "Diapazon," and others is well known.
The Workers Movement of Kazakhstan "Solidarity" was denied
re-registration by the Ministry of Justice. The same happened to
newspaper "Worker's Life."
In the situation of the dictatorship's increasing brutality, the
introduction of the new antiworker Labor Law, and the intensification
of political terror, the Executive Committee of RDKS does not deem it
possible to have its congress on the territory of Kazakhstan, as it
was planned. The congress will have to take place in Russia.
We ask all Labor, Communist, and Revolutionary Parties, militant labor
unions, progressive youth organizations to give us informational and
political support in the form of pickets and other forms of protest in
front of Kazakhstan embassies, consulates, and trade offices, letters
and telegrams to the Government and President of Kazakhstan, articles
in mass media and the Internet about the real situation of the working
class in our country.
You can leave a message for us on our web site at