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Kyrgyzstan must respect democracy and human and workers’ rights

15 October, 2020Recent political events in Kyrgyzstan must lead the country to stability and peace and contribute to strengthening democracy, human and workers’ rights in line with international norms and standards, say IndustriALL Global Union and its affiliates.

During mass protests in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek, triggered by allegations of a rigged parliamentary election on 4 October, the government building was seized by protesters and political prisoners were released.

The election results were subsequently annulled, the government was dismissed, and a new prime minister was elected. The President of the country announced his resignation on 15 October.

In addition to the political chaos, the economy has been deeply impacted by the unrest. The mining industry is important for the country’s economy and many mining fields were seized and some mining companies had to halt operations.

Following appeals from trade unions and employers, police forces are now guarding the facilities and operations are slowly resuming.

According to Eldar Tadjibaev, chairman of the Mining and Metallurgy Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan (MMTUK), more than 5,000 of the union’s members still cannot return to work due to damages in the workplaces.

Kyrgyz unions are rather optimistic and expect the political change in the country’s legislative and executive powers to have the potential to improve the situation for unions. Kyrgyz unions expect that with fair elections an anti-union draft law violating the core principles of ILO Conventions 87 and 98, ratified by Kyrgyzstan, will be abandoned.
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary, says:

“Kyrgyzstan needs to move towards a genuine and well-settled democracy and democratic institutions. Our struggle, together with our Kyrghyz affiliates, will continue to strengthen democracy and human rights, particularly the full respect and implementation of workers’ rights.

We urge the new government to make sure that law enforcement agencies stop interfering in union affairs and prosecuting trade union leaders.”