Court Orders Release On Parole Of Jailed Kazakh Labor Union Leader

PAVLODAR, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan's northern city of Pavlodar has ordered the release on parole of labor union leader Amin Eleusinov.

The court's May 4 ruling would see the release of Eleusinov on May 21 unless prosecutors successfully appeal the decision, the court's press service told RFE/RL.

Eleusinov, a union leader at the Oil Construction Company (OCC), was sentenced to two years in prison in May 2017 after a court in Astana convicted him on embezzlement charges and for publicly insulting, assaulting, and refusing to obey a representative of state authority.

Eleusinov was arrested in January 2017 after hundreds of OCC workers went on a hunger strike to protest the closure of a trade union alliance.

The strike was stopped after a court in Astana declared it illegal.

Union activist Nurbek Qushaqbaev, who was arrested along with Eleusinov, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in April 2017 on charges of instigating an illegal strike.

Human rights activists in Kazakhstan and abroad have condemned the convictions, calling them politically motivated.