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  • Al Jazeera

Kazakhstan President Gives "Shoot to Kill" Order to Quell Protests

January 7, 2022

[Image Source: Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters]

Cited article by Anealla Safdar and David Child, Al Jazeera

HRRC condemns the use of lethal force against protestors, and calls for an end to violence and for the Kazakhstan president to withdraw the shoot to kill order. We are gravely concerned over the addition of Russian military forces to an already hostile situation, and the lethal force that has been authorized alongside their deployment.

Article Summary

For nearly a week, protests have been ongoing in Kazakhstan, developing originally from protests against rising gas prices leading into anti-government rallies. The interior ministry has stated that 26 "armed criminals" have been "liquidated" with over 3,000 detained. Reports indicate that dozens have been killed, including civilians, police, and national guard service members. As the president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, requests assistance from Russia, he also is instructing his police to use lethal force without warning in order to address the growing unrest.

These protests mark the worst violence experienced in the country in three decades of independence. Russian analysts state that the crowds likely contain both civilians as well as "foreign-trained terrorists", yet there is no evidence in support of this statement. Russia is complying with the Kazakhstan president's request for peacekeeping forces, and a reported 2,500 'peacekeeping' members will be present for an unknown amount of time, and with lethal force authorized.


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