The ITUC has welcomed the release of Russian trade union leader Valentin Urusov from prison. In early 2008 Urusov, a miner and trade union leader, was detained by the authorities, alleging narcotics possession. However, his arrest coincided suspiciously with preparations for a protest rally by workers at the state-owned Alrosa diamond mining company—a rally which Urusov helped organise.

On 6 March a Russian court ordered to free Valentin Urusov, a union leader at diamond mines in Sakha, Russia, from prison. Unions in Russia and across the world have always underlined Urusov’s innocence.

Despite the fact that he has spent nearly four and a half years in a penal colony in eastern Siberia, Valentin Urusov is not particularly well-known to the general public. But Urusov, who was recently nominated for the 2013 Arthur Svensson International Award for Union Rights, is the victim of a human rights violation as gross as any.

IndustriALL Global Union supports Valentin Urusov’s nomination for the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights 2013. Urusov is a Russian trade union leader, who was jailed in 2008 under a fabricated case for his successful attempts to organize workers at diamond mines in the northern province of Sakha in Russia.

The prosecutor’s office in Kaluga, Russia stated that the management’s ‘ban’ on public activities including union organizing on the territory of Peugeot-Citroen plant is illegal.

During the Soviet era, from 1917 to 1991, trade unions in Russia were state run organisations which had nothing to do with helping workers fight for their rights against employers. Then following the collapse of the Soviet Union there was no improvement as the workers did not have a functioning government or legal system to turn to if they found themselves in dispute with their employers.

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