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4 Jan 2022

RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

Kazakhstan: Police fire stun grenades on protesters in Almaty as president issues warning

Kazakh police fire stun grenades on protesters in Almaty as president issues warning, 4 January 2022

Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev warned protesters...that calls to attack government and military buildings were illegal, as he issued a video address to the nation amid protests in several cities. "The government will not fall, but we want mutual trust and dialogue rather than conflict," he said.

His appeal came shortly after reports of security forces using stun grenades as hundreds of protesters tried to storm the mayor's office in the country's biggest city, Almaty...

...[O]n January 4, the government announced it was restoring the price cap of 50 tenge ($0.11) per liter, or less than half the market price, in Mangystau. Toqaev also signed a decree to institute a state of emergency in the Almaty and Mangystau regions...

Smaller rallies were held in the northern city of Aqtobe, Shymkent in the south, Oral in the west, Almaty in the southeast, and Nur-Sultan, the capital, in support of the protesters in Mangystau and voice discontent over issues such as corruption, unemployment, and low wages.

More than 20 people were detained by police in the protests.

In an attempt to calm demonstrators, President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev announced that a government commission that includes members of his administration has started working in Aqtau to “find a mutually acceptable solution to the problem that has arisen in the interests of stability in our country”...