After Kazakhstan strike, authorities target leader of miners’ families

December 28: The strike of miners at ArcelorMittal Temirtau ended with their partial victory. Apparently, now it’s time to assign “blame.”

Natalia Tomilova, chairperson of the “Miner’s Family” organization from Shakhtinsk (Karaganda region of Kazakhstan), reported today that she and the head of the branch of the Industrial Trade Union of Fuel and Energy Sector Employees (SSRTCT), Dmitry Sinyavsky, were summoned to the police department.

Natalia Tomilova, chair of ‘Miner’s Family’ organization
“I was told that an indictment will be drawn up and I will be familiarized with the documents,” said Natalia Tomilova. “And, probably, they will immediately take me to court. I, of course, will insist that I be given time to find a lawyer.”

Natalia Tomilova was detained on December 14 near the “Kazakhstan” mine, where she came to meet with striking miners who expressed distrust of their [official, government-aligned] union. After her detention the woman became ill, and she was taken to the hospital. The charges were based on a statement from the mine’s security guards, after which police qualified the actions of the women [of “Miner’s Family”] as hooliganism. However, the police have not taken any action with respect to the mothers in the meantime.

In addition, a statement on the action of Tomilova, Sinyavsky and another member of the trade union was written by the chairman of the [official] “Korgau” trade union of coal miners, Marat Mirgayazov, and accepted by the authorities.

“It surprises me that they call Sinyavsky. He was not even with us at all, he was then at the prosecutor’s office,” Natalia continues. “Each of our steps was recorded on video. I myself asked: ‘guys, shoot everything,’ as I expected possible provocations. But, I’m afraid that they will not want to study these videos and attach them to the case materials. This does not enter into their plans. Then I could write a counter-statement about a false denunciation.”

Natalia Tomilova assumes that the court hearing will be held today or tomorrow.

“It is very important for them and it is very necessary to complete everything by the end of the year. Of course, this is uttermost lawlessness,” she adds.

P.S. It just became known that the district police postponed the meeting until January 4, 2018.


Translated by Greg Butterfield


Send statements supporting Natalia Tomilova to:

Shakhtinsk City Court: email to

ArcelorMittal Temirtau Corporation:

Prosecutor’s office:

Send copies to Natalia Tomilova and the “Miner’s Family” organization:

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