06/14/2019, 09.56
KAZAKHSTAN
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The Tokayev presidency begins with 1,000 arrests

The UN denounces police violence against protesters, activists and journalists. The June 9 elections marked by "widespread voting irregularities ". The new president announced the creation of a "special national council" open, among others, to young activists.

Nur-Sultan (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The new presidency of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, elected head of Kazakhstan last June 9, has begun with protests. About 1,000 people were arrested in the first week after the elections, provoking the reaction of groups that defend human rights both locally and internationally. These include the United Nations Office for Human Rights (UNHRO), which criticizes police attacks on protesters, activists and journalists.

Ryszard Komenda, head of UNHRO Central Asia, calls on "the authorities of Kazakhstan to respect the freedom of peaceful assembly and expression and the right to political participation". The "Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law" and the "Human Rights Charter Foundation", two local NGOs, also denounce mass violations of civil rights and freedoms, in particular freedom of expression and freedom of assembly " . Even the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) points out that the vote was marked by "widespread irregularities".

Meanwhile, on June 12, the inauguration ceremony of the new president Tokayev took place, 66 years with a past in international diplomacy. He was sworn in the Independence Palace, then bowed to kiss the national flag as a sign of respect. Finally, a military parade marked the end of the celebrations.

His victory was obvious and expected, since he is the protégé designated to succeed by former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned surprisingly after almost 30 years at the helm of the former Soviet Republic. The "Bulgarian" majority with which he was declared the winner - almost 71% of the preferences - is worthy of the former satraps of the Central Asian republics.

The authorities of Nur-Sultan, the new name of the capital Astana in honor of the former president, report that 957 people have been sent to trial for five unauthorized demonstrations: of these, 670 were sentenced to six to 15 days prison, 115 fined and 172 received an official warning not to take part in illegal actions. For his part, the new president called for dialogue and announced the creation of a "special national council" open, among others, to young activists.

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