Here are some of the biggest protests Kazakhstan has seen in recent decades | World news

Former Soviet Republic, Kazakhstan is a landlocked country in Central Asia facing its biggest protest, against the colossal rise in fuel prices, since the country’s independence in 1991. This led to the resignation of the government of Kazakhstan, Reuters news agency reported. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called the demonstrators “a bunch of international terrorists”, and called for the intervention of peacekeepers from Russia and allied countries.

Protests are rare in the country but took place infrequently in the 2000s.

January 2021 – Protests that began on January 2 left Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, Almaty, in flames as protesters shot down the statue of first President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Kazakh protests were sparked by the sharp rise in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the country’s main automotive fuel. This has been accompanied by rising interest rates and explosive inflation in recent years.

Twelve cops have been killed as thousands take to the streets to organize violent protests.

Read also | Explained: How the protests in Kazakhstan started and the big picture

june 2019 – As protests erupted against the change of president from longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, around 500 people were arrested in 2019. Young activists were at the forefront of this movement as they chanted mantras like “No to dictatorship” and “Shame, shame, shame!”

april 2016 – Fueled by the change in Kazakhstan’s land code, around 4,000 people are staging unauthorized protests across the country. The new law allowed foreigners to buy Kazakh farmland for 25 years.

A protester in Aktobe town told the BBC: “After 25 years, they will stay 65 years. After 65 years, their descendants will take Kazakh nationality and our descendants will be their slaves.

Police detained several people, including two Reuters reporters, for a short time before releasing them.

On May 5, almost two weeks after the protests began, the government had to admit defeat and order a moratorium on certain provisions of the land code.

december 2011 – Known as the Zhanaozen Massacre, 14 protesters were killed in a clash with police in the oil town of Zhanaozen on Kazaksatan Independence Day. Workers demanding unpaid danger money, higher wages and better working conditions were key forces. Witnesses report that the police opened fire on people.

Read also | Kazakhstan declares state of emergency nationwide

February 2006 – 2,000 protesters defied the ban on unauthorized protests and revolted against the assassination of opposition leader Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, then 43, who was found dead with his bodyguard outside from Almaty.

Supporters and opposition leaders orchestrated the rally demanding justice for Sarsenbaiuly’s death.

Elizabeth J. Harless