Thousands of Protestors Arrested in Brutal Crackdown of Rights

Thousands of Protestors Arrested in Brutal Crackdown of Rights

( – As fuel prices surged and access to money became tight, people in Kazakhstan took to the streets to protest the government. What resulted was a crackdown on citizens as officials alleged terrorists embedded with the massive number of protestors. On January 9, Kazakh President Kassem-Jomart Tokayev issued a “shoot without warning” order that received the condemnation of the United States and international human rights groups.

The government says it’s arrested around 5,800 people over the political unrest. Officials say most of them were not Kazakhstan residents and that 164 people died due to the violence. Social media reports suggest the death toll is much higher thanks to Tokayev’s “shoot without warning” order to silence the protestors. The majority of security forces focused on Almaty, the country’s largest city.

To justify the harsh clamp down on the protestors, Kazakh Secretary of State Yerlan Karin claimed terrorists were embedded with peaceful protestors and sought to destabilize the country to achieve a revolution and a coup. Again, citizens on social media refuted Karin’s claim.

Kazakhstan is an ally of Russia, which recently deployed military forces to the country to help tamp down the protests and restore order. More unrest is the last thing Russian President Vladimir Putin needs as he tries to dissuade NATO from working with Ukraine and other former Soviet bloc countries.

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