Dozens arrested as police break up anti-government protest in Kazakhstan

Police detained dozens of protesters as they broke up an anti-government protest in Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty on Saturday. Officers in full riot gear cordoned off the city’s main square as about 100 opponents of president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in power since 1989, approached them. They were seen to chase the protesters down the street, detaining them one by one and putting them into buses.

Law enforcement bodies are obliged to prevent any violations and immediately take the necessary legal measures including criminal prosecution.

Prosecutor general Zhakip Asanov

The protesters are angry at proposals by Mr Nazarbayev, who has been in power since 1989, to privatize large tracts of farmland. Demonstrations have been held throughout the country despite the threat of a crackdown by authorities. Earlier this week, police and courts detained at least half a dozen activists in several cities who had planned to take part in Saturday’s protests. Kazakh authorities had warned that the planned rallies were illegal and that authorities would react.