In Kazakhstan, the mystery around civilian casualties and arrests of activists

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Calm has returned in Kazakhstan after the bloody suppression of peaceful protests on January 5 and 6, which led to riots. Now that the number of victims has reached 225 according to the latest official statistics, there are two versions facing each other. State authorities speak of the “anti-terror” operation while human rights defenders denounce the arbitrary arrests and total opacity on the part of the government.

Ten days after the protests sparked by an increase in energy prices were quelled, confusion is still rife in Kazakhstan. The death toll reaches 225 people according to the latest count by the Kazakh authorities, which is a significant increase from the previous charges.

On the one hand, the government defends the narrative of intervention “against terrorism”, on the other hand, the population speaks of fierce repression by the authorities. After the protests escalated, security forces were ordered to fire live ammunition. According to the official version, the central police station was subjected to 27 attacks by suspected terrorists.

>> (re)read on Kazakhstan: Did the “anti-terror” operation conceal a battle between political clans?

Some families are still searching for the bodies of loved ones who disappeared in early January. Since the events, several videos have been circulating from inside the morgue on the internet, where relatives of the protesters are trying to find their family members.

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