Kazakhstan Leader's claim of leniency for protesters met with suspicion
The Guardian|January 15, 2022
Kazakhstan’s president, KassymJomart Tokayev, who at the height of the unrest last week said he had given an order to troops that they should shoot to kill without warning, has spent this week taking a softer line and promising genuine reform.
Shaun Walker

However, with thousands of people still in detention, and a behind-the-scenes power struggle still not fully resolved, many have expressed scepticism.

“People who have carried out serious crimes will be punished in accordance with the law,” Tokayev tweeted yesterday. “For others, I order the prosecutor to determine their level of guilt, and if there are no aggravating circumstances, to soften their punishment.”

More than 10,000 people have been detained during the past two weeks. At the height of the unrest, Tokayev said “20,000 terrorists” had attacked the country’s largest city, Almaty, but these numbers seem to have been quietly revised.

On Thursday, the prosecutor’s office said 494 criminal cases had been opened, including 44 for terrorism. Most of those detained faced administrative charges that entail a maximum of 15 days in jail.

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