[Documents menu] Documents menu

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>
From: achekhov@UNITY.NCSU.EDU
Subject: On Political Situation in Kazakhstan
Comments: To: "stachkom-inter@onelist.com" <stachkom-inter@onelist.com>
X-UIDL: c2f2370a4d7e3bd00d12df7c5d9e8b29


On Political Situation in Kazakhstan

Workers' Movement of Kazakhstan Solidarity Executive 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 provocations.

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 becoming routine.

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.

Executive Committee

You can leave a message for us on our web site at