State Of Emergency Extended Till End Of January In Kazakhstan Oil Town

Kazakhstan Riots

Photo: AP

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has extended the state of emergency in riot-hit oil town Zhanaozen, the Telegraph reports.The emergency measures will now last until 31 January — running past a parliamentary election set for January 15.

Zhanaozen has been hit by a number of protests over worker pay in December, which eventually saw at 16 people apparently shot by police. Despite apparent attempts at censorship, videos have emerged from the authoritative state — one showing men shot and beaten when down by police, and another showing wounded, possibly dying men, in the central square.

The BBC reports that state of emergency bans all protests or gatherings, imposes a strict curfew, implements checks on those leaving or entering town, and officially sanctions the banning of television and radio.

A criminal inquiry has now been opened against the police who apparently shot protestors. The Kazakhstan state has asked for help from the UN during the investigation.

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