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KobusArt_IMG_7738-1On behalf of the independent workers trade union “Zhanartu” and our comrades in the “Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan” we express our sincere thanks to Paul Murphy from the Socialist Party in Ireland for the huge amount of work and support that he has given to the workers’ movement in our country and in particular to the imprisoned oil-workers.

He was the only MEP to visit the mass strike of oil-workers in Kazakhstan in the summer of 2011 when he tried to warn the oil company KazMunaiGaz and the authorities against using force and repression against the strikers. In the very first hours after the massacre and beatings of the peaceful participants in the demonstration of oil-workers and their families on 16th December 2011, Paul Murphy initiated an international campaign of protest and, in addition, he authored two resolutions of the European parliament with the support of the United left/Nordic green group, which condemned the bloodbath.

Paul has organised several hearings in the European Parliament involving our representatives on the question of the repression of worker activists  in Kazakhstan and helped to organise visits by delegations of trade unionists from Ireland and England to the region where the massacre took place. Thanks to his activities and those of his comrades in the Socialist party and other sections of the Committee for a Workers’ international to which he belongs, many of the 37 leaders and strike activists who were put on trial after the strike avoided being sent to prison.  Nine were completely freed and another four had lighter sentences than they would normally expect. Because of his active support for our struggle, the Kazakhstan authorities have declared Paul, together with his assistants, “persona non grata”.

Paul Murphy has not just helped the workers of Kazakhstan, but has conducted active campaigning of solidarity with working people in Sri Lanka, Palestine, Greece, Ethiopia, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine and many other countries and has been able to bravely uncover the crimes of multinational companies and European business in the third world. For many of us, and for a wide layer of human rights activists, opposition activists and honest journalists Paul Murphy is seen as a hero, an unwavering defender of the oppressed.

We call on voters, and of course left organisations and trade unions of Ireland to support Paul as candidate in the elections for the European Parliament as he is a voice for all enslaved peoples and workers in many countries. He honestly and with great inspiration and determination defends the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Europe from the attacks of big business and plans of the capitalist politicians who want to destroy the system of social support. Paul Murphy should return to defend the interests of working people in the European Parliament.

With respect,

Andrei Prigor, President of the Kazakhstan workers’ trade union “Zhanartu” and

Ainur Kurmanov, Co-President of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan

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