Issue date
09 Aug 2017

TUC General Secretary writes to Kazakhstan Ambassador to call on its government to immediately release three trade union leaders and to uphold their commitments to ILO conventions on the freedom of association and the right to organise peacefully. 

HE Mr Erlan Idrissov


Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan

125 Pall Mall

St. James's



Dear Ambassador

Justice for Larisa Kharkova, Nurbek Kushakbaev and Amin Eleussinov

On behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the 5.6 million members of our affiliated unions, I urge you to convey our demand to President Nazarbaev, for the immediate release of Larisa Kharkova, a leader of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, Amin Eleussinov, leader of a union at the Oil Construction Company plant and Nurbek Kushakbaev, Vice-chairman of the CNTUK and labour inspector of OCC. We make this call in association with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

Larisa Kharkova was sentenced in late July to 100 hours of forced labour, four years restriction on her freedom of movement and a five-year ban on holding any position in a public or non-governmental organisation. The sentence follows the suppression of protest actions, including a hunger-strike, of workers at Kazakhstan’s Oil Construction Company (OCC) and the sentencing of Amin Eleussinov, and Nurbek Kushakbaev, to unconditional prison terms of two and two and a half years respectively.

In association with the ETUC, the TUC calls for  

  • all charges against Larisa Kharkova, Nurbek Kushakbaev and Amin Eleussinov to be dropped
  • CNTUK to be registered as a legal trade union, and
  • workers to be guaranteed the freedom to establish and join unions of their own choice.

The TUC deplores the actions taken by the government of Kazakhstan and demands that the authorities uphold their commitments to ILO conventions 87 and 98 and demonstrate full respect for the rights to freedom of association, the right to organise and peaceful assembly, and in particular should immediately and unconditionally release Larisa Kharkova, Nurbek Kushakbaev and Amin Eleussinov and end their attack on the independent trade union movement in Kazakhstan.

Yours sincerely

Frances O’Grady

TUC General Secretary