A total of 225 people have died and more than 4,500 have been injured in the violent protests that shook Kazakhstan last week and that the security forces suppressed in an “anti-terrorist” operation, as reported today by the Attorney General’s Office of this Central Asian country.
Among the dead there are “armed bandits” who participated in the attacks against official buildings and against agents of the security forces, in addition to 19 policemen and soldiers and civilians, according to the head of the Criminal Procedure Service of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan, Serik Shalabaev. “The 225 corpses have been transported to the country’s morgues,” he explained to justify this figure in the official count. The latest official data only collected 164 deaths.RELATED
Shalabaev has indicated that at the moment “4,578 victims have been identified, of which 4,353 were injured, including 3,393 members of the security forces and bodies.”
The president of Kazakhstan, Kasim-Yomart Tokáyev, wrote on Twitter on Friday that during “the tragic events of January” – which broke out on January 2 due to the rise in the price of liquefied gas, used in the country as a cheap alternative to gasoline – and the consequent state of emergency, the authorities arrested “approximately 2,000 people for different crimes”. However, the count provided amounted to more than 10,000 detainees so far.
The protests, fueled by social discontent with the country’s political and economic elite and corruption, turned into riots a few days after they broke out. The Kazakh authorities have justified their decision to forcibly quell the protests with the alleged presence of 20,000 insurgents, international terrorists and armed bandits who, according to Tokayev, tried to carry out a coup. So far the Kazakh president has not presented evidence for his claims.
“Those who committed serious crimes will be punished in accordance with the law,” he has written in his account, in which he has assured that he will distinguish between violent and peaceful protesters. “As for the others, I have instructed the Attorney General’s Office to determine the nature and responsibility of their crimes. In the event that it is established that there are no aggravating circumstances, we will take measures to mitigate the sanction,” the president promised. .
The Prosecutor’s Office has admitted that it is investigating 546 criminal cases in the context of the protests, including 44 for alleged acts of terrorism, 34 for riots and 15 for homicide. A total of 672 criminal suspects are in temporary detention centers. About a hundred people have been released due to lack of evidence against them, Shalabaev added.