Free all political prisoners!
Kazakhstan is a one man dictatorship. Workers across the country are paid starvation wages whilst a tiny minority become fabulously wealthy. When people stand up for their social, human, workers rights, they face vicious repression. Kazakhstan is constantly ranked amongst the lowest in the world for press freedom, human rights, but amongst the highest for corruption and embezzlement. Tony Blair has acted as an apologist for this regime, speaking on its behalf many times.
But this has not stopped people fighting back. The repression is met with a heroic fighback by many in Kazakhstan. Kazakh president Nazarbayev is preparing the way to become the next Mubarrak or Ben Ali.
Aron Atabek, a poet and dissident, has been imprisoned for 5 years now for supporting the struggle of residents of Shanrak. They were evicted with no offer of alternative accommodation. For the ‘crime’ of helping in negotiations with the authorities and the residents, Aron was sentenced to 18 years. He has been in solitary confinement for 2 years, denied access to his family. This is illegal under international law. We demand his immediate release, along with all those imprisoned as a result of the Shanrak struggle.
Human rights activist and lawyer Vadim Kuramshin has recently been sentenced for 12 years in a retrial, after a jury threw out the charges a few months earlier. Getting rid of all pretense of a fair trial, neither Vadim nor his representatives were not allowed to attend.
Vadim is in prison simply because he is a throrn in the side of the regime, highlighting the many human rights abuses that occur throughout Kazakhstan. For more details on the campaign for Vadim, see our website below.
Who are Campaign Kazakhstan?
Campaign Kazakhstan fights for democratic, social and workers’ rights in Kazakhstan. Through its campaigning material and its web-site, it highlights the conditions facing workers there and organises international solidarity. Many trade union branches and human rights groups have supported Campaign Kazakhstan internationally. 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.
Campaign Kazakhstan appeals to human rights and press freedom organisations, trade unionists and all those who support democratic, social, worker and political rights in Kazakhstan to:
a) Add their names to the list of sponsors and supporters of the campaign
b) Send letters of protest about the denial of democratic rights in Kazakhstan
c) Spread the word about the situation in Kazakhstan
d) Join protests, lobbies and other campaigns
e) Make a donation through the website and ask your colleagues, family and friends to do the same
December 13, 2012
The World Bank Brings Nazarbayev University to Kazakhstan
by Allen Ruff and Steve Horn
A year ago, on Dec. 15, 2011, Kazakhstan state security forces opened fire with U.S.-supplied weapons on oil workers on strike since the preceding May for increased wages and better conditions in the Caspian Sea company town of Zhanaozen. According to the official count, 15 workers died and upwards of 70 were wounded. Unofficial accounts reported much higher number of casualties. Several hundred miles to the east in the capital, Astana, business went on as usual that day for the Western faculty members and administrators at the recently built multi-billion dollar Nazarbayev University, a joint venture involving the country’s authoritarian regime, the World Bank, and a number of major, primarily US “partnering” universities. This is the first of a three-part series, stimulated by news of the “Zhanaozen Massacre” and initial word of “global university” dealings in Kazakhstan.
A number of prestigious, primarily U.S.-based universities are quietly working with the authoritarian regime in Kazakhstan under the dictatorial rule of the country’s “Leader for Life,” Nursultan Nazarbayev.
In a project largely shaped and brokered by the World Bank in 2009 and 2010, the regime sealed deals with some ten major U.S. and British universities and scientific research institutes. They’ve been tasked to design and guide the specialized colleges at the country’s newly constructed showcase university.
As a result, scores of academics have flocked to the resource rich, strategically located country four times the size of Texas. They remain there despite the fact that every major international human rights monitor has cited the Nazarbayev regime for its continuing abuse of civil liberties and basic freedoms.
Kazakhstan now serves as a key hub for the application of the World Bank’s “knowledge bank” agenda, a vivid case study of the far-reaching nature of a corporate – and by extension, imperial – higher education agenda. . . .
Read the rest of the article here.