Kazakhstan: Rapper forced to cancel concert for striking workers

5 September 2011


Takezhan Oteghaliev, famous rapper in Kazakhstan, was pressured into canceling a concert in support of striking oil workers in western Kazakhstan, reported Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty’s Kazakh Service.

Takezhan told RFE/RL the concert was to have been held on 27 August 2011 at the Zhuldyz restaurant in Almaty. But on 26 August the restaurant’s management urged him to cancel it and cite “health problems” as the reason. Takezhan said it was likely the managers were pressured “from above” to prevent the concert from taking place.

Takezhan agreed to the restaurant’s request and cancelled the show.

Thousands of oil workers are on strike in Manghystau, and hundreds of the striking workers have been fired. Takezhan wanted to highlight their situation.

The oil workers are demanding the same wages and benefits as foreign — mostly Chinese — workers in the region, the lifting of restrictions on labor unions, and the release of independent union activist Natalya Sokolova, who was jailed for six years earlier this month for “igniting social hatred.”


Takezhan OteghalievPhoto: (RFE/RL)


Rap song by Takezhan (Такежан)

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty – 31 August 2011:

‘Kazakh Rapper Forced To Cancel Concert For Striking Workers’

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