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Trade union leader attacked in his home

The Arthur Svensson foundation and Industri Energi are concerned about the safety of trade union leaders in Kazakhstan after a vicious attack on one of our partners Saturday night.

Dimitri Sinyavsky was attacked in his home by unknown men Saturday night

Trade union leader Dimitri Sinyavsky was brutally attacked and beaten in his own home by unkown individuals Saturday night and is now recovering in a local hospital. Sinyavsky is the head of a industry union in the karaganda region and was supposed to meet with an international union delegation this Tuesday in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

Andreas C. Halse in the Svensson foundation and Espen Løken from Industri Energi will this week take part in an international trade union mission to Kazakhstan. The mission is timed five months after awarding the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights to the hard pressed independent union movement of Kazakhstan. The purpose of the mission is to meet the laureates and follow up on the labour and human rights situation in the country.

The attack on Dimitri Sinyavsky is seen in context of his work with the union and raises serious concerns about the safety of union leaders in the country. Andreas C. Halse, head of the Arthur Svensson foundation urges the government of Kazakhstan to take measures to protect union leaders in the country.

- Kazakhstan is positioning to be a global economic player and trade partner to Europe. Such a position comes with a great responsibility to respect and uphold fundamental human and labour rights. There is no freedom of organisation if union leaders are not protected from violence and abuse, is the message from Halse.

The international delegation that also consists of Anton Leppic from ITUC, Boris Kravchenko from the Russian union confederation KTR and Ivan Milykh of the IUF will be in Kazakhstan from Tuesday until Thursday to meet with human rights activists and union leaders as well as the government.

The independent union movement of Kazakhstan was celebrated by an international labour movement in Oslo this June. They were praised for their courage by international figures such as Frode Alfheim, chair of the Arthur Svensson prize committee and Sharan Burrow, president of ITUC. There is no doubt that the independent labour movement of Kazakhstan carries with them the full support of a global union movement.


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