Kazakhstan: UN urges all sides to refrain from violence

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jan 06, 2022, 11:54 PM(IST)

A picture shows a burnt-out fire engine on a street in central Almaty on January 6, 2022, after violence that erupted following protests over hikes in fuel prices Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Alarmed by reports of deadly violence and gun battles in the largest city Almaty, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said lethal force, notably live ammunition, should only be used as a last resort

United Nation on Thursday urged everyone in Kazakhstan to refrain from violence. The central Asian nation declared nationwide emergency after protests against fuel hike went out of control and subsequent violence even saw people storming government buildings.

UN urged that peaceful solutions must be found.

Alarmed by reports of deadly violence and gun battles in the largest city Almaty, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said lethal force, notably live ammunition, should only be used as a last resort.

She also called for the release of people held solely for exercising their right to peaceful protest.

"People have the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression," Bachelet said in a statement.

"At the same time, protesters, no matter how angry or aggrieved they may be, should not resort to violence against others." 

The UN high commissioner for human rights said that that force could only be used by Kazakh authorities if necessary and proportionate.

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Live bullets should only be used as a last resort against specific individuals to address an imminent threat of death or serious injury, she said.

Moscow-led troops have arrived to help quell the unrest that has so far left dozens dead and hundreds detained.

Bachelet said the use of force -- including by foreign troops -- to maintain public order should be guided by the standards of international law.

(With inputs from agencies)

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