a photo exhibition was opened to mark the anniversary of the shootings at the
peaceful protest in the city of Zhanaozen, Kazakhstan. The exhibition will be
open from 12 December, 2014 to 21 December, 2014.
Dialog Foundation, as the organiser, called for solidarity with the Kazakh
people in their struggle for freedom. Kazakh and Belarusian opposition
activists also delivered speeches at the opening ceremony.
from the exhibition depict events both in Zhanaozen in 2011 and at the
Independence Square in 2013. Organisers drew a parallel between the violent
suppression of both protests, the purpose of them being a struggle for freedom.
Icing lamps are arranged to form an inscription ‘16.12’, the date of
Kazakhstan’s Independence Day and also the date that peaceful protesters were
action is a sign of solidarity. Our nations have a common goal – a struggle for
freedom. Cooperation between non-democratic regimes in the former Soviet Union
is now amassing impressive weight, and Ukraine is no exception. We hereby call
on the Ukrainian authorities to take the democratic path and cease their
cooperation with authoritarian regimes. Our photo exhibition features images
from the protests in Zhanaozen in 2011 and Maidan in 2013. By drawing such a
parallel, we are once again emphasising the fact that all non-democratic
regimes try to hold on to power at all costs, even if the price is hundreds of
lives”- the organisers commented.
has fired shots during a peaceful rally in Zhanaozen. 17 people were killed and
108 were wounded, while dozens were arrested. That’s the way he treated the
people who had taken to the streets in order to participate in peaceful
protests; the people who strived for a pay increase and for observance of their
rights. Any attempt to peacefully protect one’s rights in Kazakhstan is
prosecuted. During Nazarbayev’s dictatorship, numerous people were killed. The
regime persecutes all those who think differently and want changes in the
country. Despite the fact that our cultures are so different, over many years
of cooperation, the Ukrainian and Kazakh nations have become similar in many
aspects. The whole world is now looking at Ukraine, at Maidan, to see what changes
will come about; Kazakhstan also looks on. The Kazakh opposition is preparing a
change in the country. And God willing, we will win. Kazakhstan will have its
own Maidan and its own democracy”, – Aidos Sadykov, Kazakh journalist and
opposition activist, enunciated at the opening ceremony.
of the rally also drew attention to the death of 24-year-old Asem Kenzhebayeva
who was subjected to torture in a detention centre in Zhanaozen in December
2011. Subsequently, she suffered serious health problems and on 13 December,
2014, she died, leaving behind her five year old son. They also reminded those
gathered of the fate of opposition activists and politicians who are still
behind bars. Fortunately, yielding to pressure from the international community,
the Kazakh authorities recently released labour union activist Roza Tuletayeva
and human rights defender Zinaida Mukhortova from detention.
December, 2011 in the Kazakh town of Zhanaozen and the village of Shetpe,
police suppressed a peaceful protest of oil workers, which had been ongoing for
approx. seven months, by opening fire on protesters. According to official
figures, at least 17 people were killed and 108 were wounded. Independent
sources cite much higher figures.
the protesters were subjected to oppression: torture during interrogations in
order to compel witnesses to give false testimonies, disproportionate court
sentences. Protesters, who publicly reported the use of torture, are still
serving long-term prison sentences. Police officers who opened fire on
activists and residents are already at large – they were released early. The
use of punitive psychiatry against opposition activists is widely practiced.
Kazakhstan’s only and incumbent president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, is doing
everything in his power to protect his dictatorship from public discontent and
couple Aidos and Natalia Sadykov suffered persecution in their home country for
many years due to their journalistic activities. They were forced to leave
Kazakhstan as Natalia faced imprisonment for defamation. The real reason which
prompted the opening of the criminal case against Natalia Sadykova was her
professional activities and the activities of her husband Aidos. Kazakh
authorities have instituted several criminal cases against Aidos Sadykov,
subjected him to forced psychiatric treatment and imprisoned him for nearly two
years, having convicted him on charges which human rights activists deemed to
be politically motivated.
Open Dialog Foundation