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Kyrgyzstan: suspension of democratically elected trade union leader

28 February 2008: The ITUC and the PERC requested international solidarity action against interference in trade union affairs by the state authorities of Kyrgyzstan

In the letter send to the authorities the ITUC and its Pan-European Regional Council has strongly condemned the suspension of Sagyn Bozgunbaev, President of the Federation of Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan (FPKg) from his office by a decision of the Pervomaisky District Court. Bozgunbaev was re-elected by the Congress of the FPKg in September 2005, and under his leadership the union was accepted as an ITUC/PERC associated member organisation in June 2007.

According to the information available, this move was initiated by certain state administration officials who want to install their protégé in a position within the confederation. The statutory bodies of the FPKg, in spite of pressure on Presidents of the affiliated sector unions of FPKg and other trade union activists, voted for Bozgunbaev.

This is not the first attempt to interfere into internal affairs of trade unions of Kyrgyzstan and to destabilize the work of the FPKg. On the eve of the FPKg Congress in 2005, the police tried to prevent Bozgunbaev from attending, but the delegates did not allow this take place, giving their support to the union leader.

“Interference by state authorities in the internal affairs of trade unions contradicts the principle of Freedom of Association, embodied by the ILO Convention 87, ratified by Kyrgyzstan” said Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary. “The continuous attempts to destabilize the work of the Federation of Trade Unions of Kyrgyzstan must stop immediately”, he added.

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