About 4,000 detained during protests in Kazakhstan

Over the five days of protests, on June 9-13, about 4,000 persons have been detained in Kazakhstan.

3,000 of them were released after protocols had been drawn upon them, 677 people were held administratively liable and arrested, and 305 were held administratively liable and fined, Tengrinews reports with reference to the Interior Ministry.

According to minister Yerlan Turgumbaev, the police were ordered not to use riot control weapons, i.e. batons and tear gas canisters.

“The policemen had such weapons, but did not wield them. They used force only to localize the conflicts,” he said.

A number of police officers suffered minor injuries, but there were also some traumatic brain injuries as protesters were armed with ‘sticks, stones and re-bars’, the top official stated.

On June 9, thousands of people took to the streets in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shimkent. They were protesting against Nazarbayev’s hand-picked successor Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev being elected president. 70,76% of voters cast their ballots for him, the country’s Central Election Commission said. There were reports that the police did resort to tear gas and even abduct people.

Kazakh authorities blocking news sites, social media to hinder protests
2019.05.09 12:52

After three decades in power, Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned on March, 19 and appointed his close associate Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan, Acting President. Later, he proposed to nominate Tokayev for presidency.

Interestingly, Dariga Nazarbayeva, the retired leader’s daughter and ex-Head of the parliamentary committee on international relations, defense and security, was elected Chairperson of the Senate, the upper house of the Kazakh parliament, in March. Placing Nazarbayeva’s name in nomination has turned to be one of the first decisions taken by Acting President Tokayev after his inauguration.