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UK to investigate human rights abuses in Kazakhstan

Senior UK Parliamentarians will investigate the state of human rights within Kazakhstan.

The former director of public prosecutions Lord MacDonald will lead an independent investigation into the detention and treatment of Zhanbolat Mamai, the leader of the unregistered opposition Democratic party in Kazakhstan.

Mamai has been detained since February 2022 over his role in nationwide protests over steep rises in fuel prices that were seen as the most serious dissent in the central Asian republic since Kazakhstan was granted independence from Russia 30 years ago. A crackdown after the protests led to more than 200 deaths in an event that came to be known as “Bloody January”.

At the time of the January unrest, the Kazakh president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, denounced the protesters as terrorists and authorised a shoot-to-kill policy for anyone that did not surrender to state forces. As many as 10,000 were detained, mainly in the capital, Astana. The country has presidential elections on 22 November, where Tokayev will seek a second term and face one opponent.

Parliamentary elections are due next year, but many opposition parties cannot register.

Read more at the Guardian

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