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UN Rights Chief Calls for Peaceful Resolution of Grievances amid Deadly Violence in Kazakhstan

Wahyu Dwi Anggoro - 07 January 2022 14:51 WIB
UN Rights Chief Calls for Peaceful Resolution of Grievances amid Deadly Violence in Kazakhstan
Internet services have been significantly disrupted in Kazakhstan.
Geneva: Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances.

A police spokesperson in the main city, Almaty, said that security forces had killed dozens of protesters. 

 



In addition, almost 1,000 people have reportedly been injured in the protests, which began on January 2.  

According to the Kazakh Interior Ministry, 12 law enforcement officers have died in the unrest and 317 police officers and members of the National Guard have been injured.

"International law is clear: people have the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression. At the same time, protesters, no matter how angry or aggrieved they may be, should not resort to violence against others," Bachelet said in a press release on Thursday.

A state of emergency declared in several areas on January 5, including in the main city of Almaty and the capital, Nur-Sultan, has now been extended to the whole country. 

The state of emergency, including a curfew from 11pm to 7am, is due to remain in place until January 19.

"States do have the right to declare states of emergency under certain narrow circumstances, but any derogation of human rights is subject to strict requirements of necessity and proportionality. Certain rights, including the right to life, the prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment, and the right not to be arbitrarily detained continue to apply in all circumstances," the UN Human Rights Chief stressed.

Since Sunday, Internet services have been significantly disrupted in Kazakhstan, progressing to a complete shutdown.

"Shutting down the Internet – in effecting curbing people’s access to information and their right to freedom of expression, assembly and participation, as well as a host of other rights – is not the answer to a crisis but risks fuelling the violence and unrest,” Bachelet said.

"I urge the Kazakh authorities to ensure Internet services, which are also vital for emergency health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, are immediately and completely restored. I note that the Kazakh Government has indicated its hope that there can be an inclusive and constructive dialogue with protesters. I urge them to take all steps to ensure dialogue can be fostered and that the respect and protection of human rights remain paramount during the state of emergency and beyond,” she concluded.

(WAH)

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