Kazakhstan: anti-government demonstrators arrestedEvent
- Initial Date
- May 1, 2023
- Event Description
Police in Almaty on May 1 detained about a dozen people at an opposition rally called by fugitive Kazakh oligarch and opposition politician leader Mukhtar Ablyazov.
About 20 people gathered near the Central Park of Culture and Recreation for the afternoon rally before police began making arrests without explanation.
Some demonstrators held signs reading: “There is no road for China on Kazakh land,” while others demanded a fair investigation into unprecedented anti-government protests in the Central Asian nation in January 2022 that began over a sudden fuel price hike and grew into broader unrest against corruption, political stagnation, and widespread injustice. Violent clashes during the demonstrations left at least 238 people dead, including 19 law enforcement officers.
Ablyazov, an outspoken critic of the Kazakh government who received political asylum in France several years ago, is wanted in Kazakhstan and Russia on suspicion of embezzling some $5 billion. Ablyazov rejects the charge as politically motivated.
The fugitive tycoon established the opposition movement Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) and regularly uses the Internet to organize unsanctioned anti-government rallies across Kazakhstan. DVK was labelled as extremist and banned in Kazakhstan in March 2018.
Demonstrations were held on May 1 in other cities in Kazakhstan after civil activists announced peaceful rallies in support of Ukraine and Kazakhstan's withdrawal from the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in which Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are also members.
Applications filed by some activists for peaceful assemblies on May 1 were refused by authorities citing other events and incomplete information on applications for rallies.
One human rights group reported police surveillance of civil activists in different Kazakh cities, and some activists reportedly were detained or summoned to the police department.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of expression
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Pro-democracy defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 1 May 2023, around 20 pro-democracy defenders holding a protest against the Government and demanding investigation on the 2022 unrest were arrested by the police in Almaty, Kazakhstan.