June 19, 2024

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Riots in Kazakhstan | More than 160 were killed and nearly 6,000 were arrested

(Almaty) More than 160 people are believed to have been killed in riots in Kazakhstan this week, with authorities continuing their relentless repression in Central Asia’s largest country, with nearly 6,000 people arrested.

Christopher Rickleton
French Media Company

In the economic capital of Almaty alone, where the most violent riots took place, 103 people were killed out of a total of 164 in the country, according to a report on the government’s Telegram channel on Sunday, before the health ministry withdrew. He said the information was leaked to the Russian and Kazakh media.

However, there is no official denial or new assessment of these figures.

The number, which cannot be verified independently, is rising sharply, with authorities killing 26 protesters and 16 members of the security forces so far, and more than 2,000 wounded.

Photo by Alexander Boktanov, France-Press

Following the demonstration on January 7, police officers blocked a street in the Middle Almati.

The president announced on Sunday that 5,800 people had been arrested, including “significant numbers of foreigners”, and that 125 investigations had been launched in the wake of the unprecedented riots since independence in 1989, in a country of 19 million people with hydrocarbons.

“The situation is stable in all parts of the country,” he said, adding that although security forces were still carrying out “clean-up operations”, the presidency was announced after a critical meeting with President Qasim-Jomar Tokayev.

After the increase in gas prices last Sunday, the demonstration in the provinces began to demonstrate large cities, where the police fired direct ammunition on demonstrators, where the demonstration began in the provinces.

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According to the Kazakh Interior Ministry, the material damage caused by the violence was initially estimated at about 175 million euros.

More than 100 businesses and banks were looted and more than 400 vehicles were destroyed, according to the same source.

Kareem Massimov, the former director of Kazakhstan’s intelligence, announced on Saturday that he had arrested on Saturday the first major person to be arrested on suspicion of “high treason.”

President Djokovic, who has denied any involvement with protesters, on Friday authorized his forces to “shoot and kill.”

Condemning the order, US diplomat Anthony Blinken told the ABC on Sunday that “the authorities in Kazakhstan can calmly address the challenges they face and ensure that the rights of peaceful protesters are protected.”

Photo by Alexander Boktanov, France-Press

Shame reopens

Supermarkets reopened in Almaty on Sunday, signaling a return to a terrifying normalcy, the AFP said, citing concerns about a shortage of people.

Especially in recent days there has been a long queue of vehicles lined up in front of petrol stations.

However, in Almaty, on Saturday, police repeatedly fired into the sky to prevent people from approaching the city’s central square.

Almaty still bears the scars of violence, building facades darkened by flames and burnt car wreckage littering the streets.

In addition to the rising cost of living, the image of former President Narsultan Nazarbayev, who ruled Kazakhstan with an iron fist from 1989 to 2019, crystallized the anger of protesters.

His spokesman, Aïdos Oukibaï, Mr. Nazarbayev denied on Sunday that he had left the country. Promised to support Tokayev.

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In the wake of rumors of a power struggle, Nazarbayev on his own initiative appointed Mr Nazarbaye as head of the National Security Council. He also said he gave up on Tokayo.

Pope’s “pain”

The situation in Kazakhstan is being followed with concern abroad. Expressing his “pain” on Sunday, Pope Francis called for “dialogue” to find peace.

At Tokyo’s invitation, Moscow has sent troops to the Central Asian country as part of a Group of International Cooperation Agreements (CSTO).

The United States has said the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kazakhstan is “extremely difficult”, while Moscow has criticized it as a “cross on Saturday”.

While the US and Russian delegations are due to talk about Ukraine and Europe in Geneva on Sunday evening, Moscow has ruled out any discussion with Washington about Kazakhstan.

“This question does not bother them,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybkov.