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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2015

Featured letter: 'British values'

UK trade props up Kazakh dictatorship

Blood on hand, photo by Giang Gong Du (Creative Commons)

Blood on hand, photo by Giang Gong Du (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Mike Whale, Secretary, Campaign Kazakhstan

Following the much-publicised and criticised recent visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the British government is greeting Kazakhstan's leader Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Nazarbayev, like Xi, has no regard for human rights. Opponents of his regime are ruthlessly dealt with. He is a dictator in all but name as only tame opposition parties are allowed to contest elections.

Those who claim that the way to democratise countries like Kazakhstan is to do business with them should look at the facts.

Shot

In 2011, 70 oil workers protesting in Zhanaozen were shot by police. Survivors of the massacre have struggled to find work or get proper medical care. Instead of expressing remorse, Nazarbayev promoted the local mayor and gave the courts powers to jail union leaders.

Tony Blair has been paid millions by Nazarbayev for "consultancy". He should be ashamed that lawyers like Vadim Kuramasov, who have defended Nazarbayev's opponents, continue to be arrested and jailed on trumped-up charges.

Aron Atabek, a renowned poet, remains in prison after protesting against the destruction of workers' homes. Workers trying to organise independent trade unions face victimisation, harassment and often worse.

While the living standards of ordinary Kazakh peope fall, Nazarbayev has amassed a fortune. He is one of the richest men in the world - having sold off Kazakh oil, gas, and mineral companies to US, Russian, Chinese and British capitalists.

British business may profit from closer ties with Kazakhstan. But it will be on the back of further repression and increased poverty for Kazakh workers.

By welcoming Nazarbayev and continuing to support trade with Kazakhstan, the British government is propping up a dictatorship. Is this what Cameron and Osborne mean when they talk about promoting "British values"?

A version of this letter also appeared in the Guardian on 3 November

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In The Socialist 11 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bail out the NHS

Socialist policies get results!

Government departments agree to hack budgets

Tories open the door to further rises in tuition fees

Fury as India's leader Modi plans to visit Britain

Buyers queue overnight for 'affordable' London homes

School kids must walk hands behind backs says head

Them & Us

What we saw


Socialist Party feature

Socialism 2015: Socialist ideas back on the agenda


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Kshama Sawant re-elected

UK trade props up Kazakh dictatorship


Workplace news and analysis

Unions should keep independence to lead fight to defend Corbyn

CWU rep sacked

Hull council in aggressive attack on trade unions

Step up the fight for trade union rights

Huge support for socialist in Northern Ireland union election

Workers dig in for fight over job threat

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Can biomass energy be part of a socialist plan of production?

Revolutionary themes in games


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save steel jobs

Jeremy Corbyn visits Leeds Uni

Southampton council: cutters or Corbynistas?

Derby school support staff: fight against pay cuts continues

Fight now on to save disabled respite centre


 

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