ASTANA, December 29 (Itar-Tass) —— Some 18 rioters were arrested for the participation in massive disorders in the city of Zhanaozen in the Mangistau Region in western Kazakhstan on the day of the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, spokesman of the republican prosecutor’s general office Nurdaulet Suindikov said here on Thursday.
“The operative group in Zhanaozen detained 20 people, 18 of them were arrested on court sanctions,” Suindikov told a press briefing.
A criminal case was opened against the police for office abuse, the spokesman said. “The prosecutor’s general office instituted a criminal case over the death case as a result of the use of weapons by police officers under Article 308 Part 4 point b of the Criminal Code, which envisages responsibility for the abuse of power with the use of weapons or special means,” Suindikov said.
The massive riots on December 16 that involved the workers of oil producing enterprises earlier fired over the strikes in western Kazakhstan killed 16 people, including 15 rioters in Zhanaozen and another one at the railway station Shetpe, according to the latest official reports. The actions of the criminal group, which blocked the passenger and cargo train traffic and staged lootings in the city, resulted in the use of weapons by law enforcers. Some 46 buildings were looted and burnt down in the city. The Kazakh president introduced a state of emergency in the city on December 17. The curfew will be in effect in Zhanaozen until January 5, the traffic was restricted, the rallies were banned, photo and video recording was restricted and the use of Xerox machines was restricted.