A labour union leader in Kazakhstan who helped mobilize oil workers into defending their right to independent union representation has been sentenced to two years in jail on charges including embezzlement.
Speaking briefly after the verdict in an Astana courtroom on May 16, Amin Yeleusinov expressed despair at the outcome of his trial.
“What to do? What choice is there?” he told a reporter with RFE/RL’s Kazakhstan service, Radio Azattyk.
In addition to finding Yeleusinov guilty of stealing 14.6 million tenge ($46,700) from his employer, Oil Construction Company (OCC), Judge Gulzhan Ubashayeva also ruled that the union leader had offended public officials, disobeyed a public official, and used force against a public official. On top of his prison sentence, Yeleusinov is being ordered to pay $26,000 in damages.
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