These are horrible stories from a country where the security forces now allow themselves anything!The Kazakh government claims that the unrest was controlled solely by “Islamists” and “bandits”, hence the number of deaths and the many arrests.BILD reporters have now been able to speak to several activists and opposition politicians in Almaty – they paint a completely different picture.Asset Abishev (32) was among the peaceful demonstrators, belonging to the opposition movement in Kazakhstan. He says: “I was arrested by the police for no reason. They took me to a police station and held me there for four days. They beat me, with sticks and beat me up. It was like torture.” Asset Abishev, 32, was among the peaceful demonstrators and belongs to the opposition movement in Kazakhstan. He says: “They beat me and beat me with sticks” Photo: Evgeny Maloletka Asset Abishev was severely mistreated by the police Photo: Evgeny Maloletka Abishev saw how police officers and security forces treated other prisoners even more cruelly: “They put plastic bags on people pulled their heads until they could no longer breathe. They trampled on others, jumped on them to get confessions. It was cruel.” Abishev says that, contrary to what the government portrays, there was police violence against peaceful demonstrators in the square as well. “They just started shooting!” Asya Tulesova was also in prison as an activist, even before the current protests: “The government is trying everything to stop the protests. We take to the streets for our rights and get arrested!”
The situation in Almaty is still completely unclear – many people are still looking for their relatives, sometimes not knowing whether they were arrested or died in the unrest in Kazakhstan.
More than 10,000 people are said to have disappeared in just a few days, 1,700 in Almaty alone. It was looters and other criminals, the Kazakh media said on Wednesday, citing the city administration in the metropolis.Human rights lawyer Yevgeniy Zhovtis (63) worries about the people arrested by the security forces. Zhovtis criticizes that no one is allowed to go to those arrested: “There are several allegations of torture against security forces. People are said to have been beaten and forced to confess. We demand to finally get access.” BILD Vice President Paul Ronzheimer in conversation with human rights lawyer Yevgeniy Zhovtis (63) Photo: Evgeny Maloletka
The activist worries about the future of Kazakhstan and freedom in the country. “Young people in particular took to the streets against the conditions in the country, they had nothing to do with violent protests. The fact that activists and journalists have also been arrested makes us very concerned that this is also about intimidating critics of the government.”
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