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Janu­ary 5, 2022

Reforma Party (Kyrgyzstan), Republican Party of Turkmenistan, Turmenia Unite, Foreign Bureau of Opposition of Kazakhstan, Birlik Party (Uzbekistan)

The right of the people to rebel­lion is recog­nized by the Uni­ver­sal Declar­a­tion of Human Rights as the last neces­sary and com­pel­ling means of the people against tyranny and oppres­sion, when the author­it­ies sys­tem­at­ic­ally and for dec­ades trample on their rights and freedoms.

For 30 years, the people of Kaza­kh­stan have endured tyranny, law­less­ness, arbit­rar­i­ness and injustice. And today we see that the people’s patience reached its lim­it. Numer­ous and mass protests that began in the west­ern Mangys­tau region of Kaza­kh­stan spread to all major cit­ies, includ­ing the cap­it­al of Kaza­kh­stan (Zhana­ozen, Aktau, Atyrau, Oral, Astana, Almaty, Tal­dykor­gan, Aktobe, Taraz, Tarbagatai, Oske­men, Shymkent, Kyzylorda, Kostanay, Zhezkazgan (Sat­payev), Karaganda, Pet­ro­pavlovsk, Pavlodar, Tor­gai, Zharkent, Kok­sh­etau, Semey, Merke, Makan­shi). Socio-eco­nom­ic demands object­ively and nat­ur­ally grew into a just protest against the fam­ily-clan rule of Naz­ar­bayev and his pup­pet suc­cessor, against the polit­ic­al per­se­cu­tion of the oppos­i­tion, against the cor­rupt olig­arch­ic sys­tem that plundered and appro­pri­ated the nation­al wealth. The pro­test­ers rightly demand respect for human dig­nity and the sov­er­eign power of the people, and polit­ic­al reforms involving rep­res­ent­at­ives of the oppos­i­tion and civil society.

Naz­ar­bayev’s regime of one-man rule left no leg­al oppor­tun­ity for the Kaza­kh people to be the bear­ers and expo­nents of power, as pre­scribed by Kaza­kh­stan’s Con­sti­tu­tion. The polit­ic­al oppos­i­tion, the free media have been des­troyed, cit­izens who dare to tell the truth have been killed, imprisoned or expelled from the coun­try and sub­jec­ted to transna­tion­al repres­sion, the coun­try’s resources have been looted and serve the interests of indi­vidu­als but not the people. By depriving cit­izens of the right to express their will, clos­ing access to fair justice, driv­ing the oppos­i­tion under­ground, the author­it­ies cre­ated a situ­ation in which open polit­ic­al com­pet­i­tion and the com­ing to power of new people through trans­par­ent and fair elec­tions are impossible. Fear and sub­mis­sion were replaced by hatred and uncon­trol­lable pop­u­lar anger.

Protests in Kaza­kh­stan are an object­ive and nat­ur­al pro­cess from which all post-Soviet author­it­ari­an rulers should learn an import­ant les­son. A new gen­er­a­tion of people has grown up who do not know fear and are ready to fight for the future of their coun­try, who will not tol­er­ate greed and arbit­rar­i­ness of power, put up with cor­rup­tion, law­less­ness and fam­ily-clan rule that is flour­ish­ing in the coun­try. It is impossible to stop this pro­cess by force.  On the con­trary, tight­en­ing and repres­sion can lead to an escal­a­tion of the con­flict, to numer­ous vic­tims and ser­i­ous con­sequences for the state. The people demand what is right­fully theirs.

We call on the Kaza­kh author­it­ies to make every effort to avoid blood­shed, not to use weapons against pro­test­ers and not to repeat the mis­takes of the past. The only cor­rect solu­tion is a dia­logue with the pro­test­ers and a trans­ition to a non-viol­ent solu­tion to the crisis, the hold­ing of open elec­tions, the begin­ning of polit­ic­al reforms with the par­ti­cip­a­tion of rep­res­ent­at­ives of civil soci­ety and the opposition.

We also call on Kaza­kh­stan’s inter­na­tion­al part­ners, the European Uni­on, and the United States to imme­di­ately impose sanc­tions on those respons­ible for the cor­rup­tion and sys­tem­at­ic human rights abuses in Kaza­kh­stan that have led to the cur­rent dire situ­ation and pre­vent them from evad­ing their well-deserved punishment.