Kazakh Leader Orders Use of Lethal Force Against Protestors

Andrei Tapalaga

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke during his appeal to the people of Kazakhstan on 7 January 2022The Guarding

Kazakhstan has been faced with riots all across the country that have been caused due to the price of liquefied petroleum gas going up significantly. Khazakstan is one of the main providers of petroleum within the East and with such vast resources you would think that the price would stay at a constant rate for the citizens of Khazakstan, but due to the high demand from Europe prices had to rise. 

The country has some of the largest oil reserves in the world. It produces 1.6 million barrels of oil a day and has attracted billions of dollars in foreign investment. Despite an increasing economy within the country, the wealth has not been divided to the population and this is shown by the average salary which is under $3,000 a year!

Many of the protests have started at the beginning of this week and yet no one has respected the law as public protests in Kazakhstan are illegal without a permit issued by the government. Previous incidents that have taken place years ago had the protestors injured, arrested, and in some cases killed

The biggest attack by protestors had been in the city of Almaty where over 20,000 people had rioted against the law enforces by burning down cars and even whole buildings. Last Friday the city administration headquarters in Almaty had been completely burned by a fire started by the protestors. 

The exterior of the city administration headquarters in Almaty, Kazakhstan - set on fire during recent protestsReuters

Even the cellphone and internet service have been heavily disrupted by protestors which had many services as well as airports within the country close. So far since the protests have begun, 26 people have been killed of which 18 have been identified as law enforcement officers. Over 3,000 protestors have been detained and over 700 have sustained heavy injuries. 

All of this has made Tokayev, the leader of Kazakhstan to take the drastic decision of ordering the law enforcement officers to “shoot to kill” any protestors that go against them. 

“I have given the order to law enforcement and the army to shoot to kill without warning,” Tokayev said. “Those who don’t surrender will be eliminated.”

Tokayev has been fed up with the actions the protestors have taken, calling them “terrorists” for their acts and for the killing of law enforcement officers. Tokayev has also requested help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization which is a Russia-led military alliance. The troops have arrived late Thursday night. They have also been told to follow the same order and eliminate all protestors until they stop and surrender. 

The president has also declined any potential negotiations with the protestors by commenting to journalists that they are not protestors, but murderers: 

“What negotiations can be held with criminals, murderers?”

Truth be told the protestors have turned extremely violent not only based on the killings of law enforcement officers but millions of dollars worth of damages that have been caused in a span of a few days. Other Kazakh officials have insisted that the troops which have arrived from Russian in aid should not be fighting the protestors, but instead, protect government institutions from being burned down

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