The people of Kazakhstan
The authorities of Kazakhstan
Human rights organizations of Kazakhstan express their deep concern over the 16 December unrest in Zhanaozen and Mangistau oblast.
The unrest led to the tragic death of 14 people. The unrest resulted from the inability and reluctance of the authorities to respect the demands of people and resolve conflicts in a civilized way.
We extend condolences to families of those killed.
We welcome the decision of the head of state to establish the State Commission and involve independent experts to ensure the independence of investigation into the events in Mangistau oblast and wish to offer our participation. In addition, we believe it is essential to ensure that the investigation is truly open, thorough and objective.
By coincidence, the bloody drama in Zhanaozen took place on the day of the anniversary of the December events of 1986. The first official responses to the Mangistau unrest were full of the terminology used by the Communist leaders in 1986: “bandits, drunks and drug addicts,” as well as suggestions that the unrest was driven by the opposition and foreign agents.
We urge to ensure that the investigation into the tragedy does not result in a “witch-hunt,” and is conducted with full respect for human rights and freedoms and strict observance of the law of Kazakhstan. Unfounded accusations and other attempts to publicly discredit participants of the seven-month strike and the 16 December unrest in Zhanaozen will result in the loss of trust in the authorities and continued social unrest, rather than the restoration of stability.
Kazakhstan should not become a police state, in which the stability is based on the fear of repressions. We believe that the investigation results should be widely discussed and published, and provide the basis for further recommendations for more harmonious social relations and preventive reaction to possible social conflicts. Only this way the country will achieve the true peace and accord.
Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law
International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech “Adil Soz”
Almaty Helsinki Committee
Fund for Children, Kazakhstan
Charter for Human Rights
Legal Policy Research Center (LPRC)
International Center for Journalism (MediaNet)
Committee for Monitoring Penal Reforms and Human Rights