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S&Ds join the call for international investigation and sanctions following unrest in Kazakhstan


20 Jan 2022


Global Europe

Reacting to the violent events in Kazakhstan earlier this month, the S&Ds will today support the European Parliament resolution calling for the international community to investigate the crimes committed against the people of Kazakhstan, including disappearances, reports of torture, arbitrary detention and snipers killing or wounding peaceful protesters. The resolution also calls for EU sanctions on Kazakh officials responsible for the serious violations committed during the January protests.

The nationwide anti-government demonstrations, triggered by a rise in fuel prices, turned into the worst unrest Kazakhstan has seen in its 30 years of independence. Official and media reports indicate that dozens of people have been killed, thousands injured, and approximately 10,000 people have been detained.

Nacho Sánchez Amor, S&D spokesperson on Human Rights and negotiation of the resolution on Kazakhstan said:

“With this resolution, the European Parliament is sending out a message of solidarity with the people of Kazakhstan. Faced with a critical economic situation, aggravated by the pandemic, increased prices, corruption, and a dire situation of fundamental freedoms, they took to the streets in the largest demonstrations in the history of the country.

“We are condemning the violence committed by the authorities to suppress the demonstrators, including President Tokaïev’s call to shoot to kill people on the streets without warning, as well as the violence of the armed groups that took advantage of protests to wreak havoc. What happened in these two weeks of protests cannot pass without consequences. More than 225 people have died and there have been more than 10,000 detainees. If the authorities claim that the violence has been caused by 20,000 terrorists, why then are they arresting human rights activists?

“It is very difficult to know exactly what and why has happened in a country as opaque as Kazakhstan. This is why we need an independent investigation, possibly by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to establish the facts and the culprits.

“The EU Council should from its side impose sanctions on those responsible for serious human rights violations. While the EU Delegation in Nur-Sultan must engage in support of Kazakh civil society.”