28 Aug 2014

Letter Reveals Tony Blair Advised Kazakhstan’s President on How to Spin Massacre of Innocent, Unarmed Protesters

It doesn’t matter who pays Tony Blair, as long as Tony Blair gets paid. When he’s not busy committing war crimes or advising JP Morgan, the former UK Prime Minister (who has amassed a fortune estimated at over $115 million) can be found doing public relations work for some of the world’s most autocratic rulers, such as Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev.
By Michael Krieger: There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about Kazakhstan. In its latest global corruption index, Transparency International ranked Kazakhstan as one of the most corrupt countries on earth in its latest report, 140 out of 177 to be precise (the higher your rank the more corrupt). The oil and gas rich former Soviet Republic has a horrible record when it comes to human rights, but that doesn’t stop Tony Blair from advising the country’s leadership in exchange for millions of dollars per year.
In one of his most shameful acts, the UK Telegraph reports it has received a 2012 letter from Tony Blair to Kazakhstan’s President in which he advises how the leader should spin the 2011 massacre of unarmed civilian protesters on the world stage.

This was in 2011 you say, things have changed for the better, right? Wrong. In fact, Kazakhstan’s rankings on the corruption index have actually plunged from 120 in 2011 to 140 in 2013. So it appears all Tony Blair has done is provide cover on the world stage for even greater corruption by the government of Kazakhstan.

It’s just more blood money, just as I outlined in my post earlier this week: The Bailout of Robert Mugabe – How Wall Street Money Led to Intimidation, Torture and Death in Zimbabwe.
Now we learn from the Telegraph that:

Tony Blair gave Kazakhstan’s autocratic president advice on how to manage his image after the slaughter of unarmed civilians protesting against his regime.
In a letter to Nursultan Nazarbayev, obtained by The Telegraph, Mr Blair told the Kazakh president that the deaths of 14 protesters “tragic though they were, should not obscure the enormous progress” his country had made.
Mr Blair, who is paid millions of pounds a year to give advice to Mr Nazarbayev, goes on to suggest key passages to insert into a speech the president was giving at the University of Cambridge, to defend the action.
Mr Blair is paid through his private consultancy, Tony Blair Associates (TBA), which he set up after leaving Downing Street in 2007. TBA is understood to deploy a number of consultants in key ministries in Kazakhstan.
Human rights activists accuse Mr Blair of acting “disgracefully” in bolstering Mr Nazarbayev’s credibility on the world stage in return for millions of pounds.
The letter was sent in July 2012, ahead of a speech being given later that month by Mr Nazarbayev at the University of Cambridge.
A few months earlier, on December 16 and 17 2011, at least 14 protesters were shot and killed and another 64 wounded by Kazakhstan’s security services in the oil town of Zhanaozen. Other protesters, mainly striking oil workers, were rounded up and allegedly tortured.
Mr Blair had begun working for Mr Nazarbayev in November 2011, just a few weeks before the massacre.
In the letter, sent on note-paper headed Office of Tony Blair, Mr Blair wrote: “Dear Mr President, here is a suggestion for a paragraph to include in the Cambridge speech. I think it best to meet head on the Zhanaozen issue. The fact is you have made changes following it; but in any event these events, tragic though they were, should not obscure the enormous progress that Kazakhstan has made. Dealing with it [the massacre] in the way I suggest, is the best way for the western media. It will also serve as a quote that can be used in the future setting out the basic case for Kazakhstan.”
In its latest analysis of the country’s record, Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that: “Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record continued to deteriorate in 2013, with authorities cracking down on free speech and dissent through misuse of overly broad laws.”
Mr Blair has denied that he “profits personally” from his role in Kazakhstan. In fact he is paid through Tony Blair Associates, which is the trading arm of the Office of Tony Blair. It is thought TBA’s deal with Kazakhstan is worth around £7 million a year.
What a corrupt, immoral clown Tony Blair is. It appears his life’s mission is to do as much harm as possible during his time on earth.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger


X art by WB7

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