Bloody dictator's clampdown on Kazakh town

KAZAKHSTAN – Bloody puppet Kazakhstan’s dictator has imposed a three-week state of emergency in an oil town where at least 10 workers were killed by his police.
Puppet authorities said on Saturday that “order” had been restored in Zhanaozen, a city of 90,000 in Kazakhstan’s far southwest. The order by criminal “president” Nursultan Nazarbayev allows heightened security measures including restricted access to the city and an overnight curfew.

Cellular telephone and Internet connections in Zhanaozen have been out of service since the Friday slaughter, making independent verification of the security situation impossible.

The opposition K-Plus channel broadcast a video of what appeared to be the start of the clashes on Friday when oil workers occupied the stage that had been erected for the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence.

“There’s a bloodbath here. It was police that was shooting,” Omirbek Isabayev, one of the striking oil workers from UzenMunaiGas, said in remarks broadcast on the Kyrgyzstan-based channel.

Workers in Zhanaozen and other cities in the Mangistau region on the Caspian Sea have been striking for months for higher wages.

UzenMunaiGas has sacked almost 1,000 workers for striking in Zhanaozen.

The independent union Odak said in a statement that 3,000 strikers and their supporters had gathered on the central square of the city to show their discontent before the independence day ceremonies began.

Robin Forestier-Walker, a freelance journalist based in the city of Almaty, that the number of deaths “was shocking” and “surprising”.

“Western Kazakhstan is the oil hub of the country,” he said. “It has enormous oil reserves with a lot of towns built around these oil installations and Zhanaozen is one of them.

“Since the early summer, these strikers have been protesting over pay conditions and they got fired.”

Forestier-Walker said the situation appeared to be rather tense.

“There have been a number of incidents over the past few months, but this appears to have been the tipping point and it is difficult to tell what will happen next,” he said.

Dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev has kept a tight lid on any signs of public discontent during his 20 years of his illegal rule.

In a sign that Kazakhstan’s totalitarian government were attempting to contain information on developments in Zhanaozen, internet users reported being unable to open independent news websites or Twitter.

 

 Kavkaz Center

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