Baltabay was released from prison in August 2019 after being pardoned by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, following a massive international union campaign for the liberation of the union leader. However, Baltabay’s release from prison in August did not put an end to legal procedings. The remaining portion of his seven-year prison term was replaced by a fine.
Baltabay insists on his innocence and refuses to pay the fine or recognize the presidential pardon. He wishes to appeal, prove his innocence and restore his fundamental rights. Instead, on 16 October he was given a new prison sentence of five months and eight days for failing to pay the fine.
IndustriALL and the ITUC have launched a new LabourStart campaign, urging the Kazakh authorities to drop all charges against Erlan Baltabay, release him from prison and restore his freedoms, as well as lift a ban on conducting any public activity, including trade union activity.
Initially, Erlan Baltabay was convicted on bogus charges for misappropriation of funds in retaliation for his trade union work and support for leaders of the dissolved Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (KNPRK). He was sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from any public activity, including trade union activities.
“Erlan Baltabay’s imprisonment in the first place was completely unjustified. The entire criminal process against him was a travesty of justice, and we welcomed his release under the President’s decree. We urge the authorities to release Baltabay, in the spirit of the Decree of the President. We also call for the withdrawal of the unjustified and politically motivated sentence that put him in prison in the first place,”
said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
During the International Labour Conference in Geneva in June 2019, as well as during the session in 2017, Kazakhstan was put under a special scrutiny for systematic violations of the trade union and human rights.
“Erlan Baltabay is innocent,” said IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan.
“There was never accountability and justification in the judicial process and his imprisonment. We were pleased with his release; however, his recent imprisonment is another shameful act. We once again urge the Kazakh president to restore full freedom to Erlan. This case is a litmus test to see if there is real rule of law and a fair trial in Kazakhstan. Our campaign will continue until there is justice for Erlan.”
Disclaimer: All third-party opinions expressed via IASWI accounts linked to and from this page are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent those of IASWI or its affiliates. No copyright infringement is intended nor implied. To discuss this disclaimer or the removal of appropriate credit for materials of which you hold copyright please contact us. All the third party videos and contents found on workers-iran.org is not hosted on our servers; all third party videos or contents are hosted on a third party site. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and news sources on the www.workers-iran.org do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the IASWI or official policies of the IASWI. These posts are only generated for the purpose of information sharing on the labour related issues.