Death toll mounts
HAVANA TIMES – Kazakhstan’s authoritarian President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has ordered troops suppressing a mass uprising to “shoot without warning,” rejecting calls to hold talks with protesters, whom he called “criminals and murderers.” According to the Kazakh Interior Ministry, 44 people, including 18 security officers, have been killed in recent violence. President Tokayev also thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for sending in troops. The deadly crackdown came in response to what started as demonstrations against rising fuel prices and widened to broader anti-government protests. On Thursday, a U.N. spokesperson called on security forces to respect protesters’ rights.
Stéphane Dujarric: “The important thing is that security forces, whether they are Kazakh or whether they are non-Kazakh troops, need to uphold the same human rights standards, which is to show restraint and protect people’s rights to demonstrate peacefully.”