ASTANA, January 31 (Itar-Tass) — Kazakhstan has lifted a state of emergency in its troubled town of Zhanaozen in the country’s energy-rich western region after bloody unrests last December.
Earlier in his annual state of the nation address President Nursultan Nazarbayav said “the situation in Zhanaozen demonstrated that small towns are subjected to risks.”
“The government had to declare a state of emergency in the town to stabilize the situation. I’d taken a decision not to extend it,” he said adding that the events in the oil-rich town gave a lesson that should be learnt from.
Nazarbayev signed a decree to impose a state of emergency in Zhanaozen on December 17 after mass riots that brought together dismissed workers of oil producing companies, when the Central Asian republic marked the 20th anniversary of its independence.
According to the official information, sixteen people were killed and dozens were injured. Dozens of buildings were put on fire and ravaged.
Kazakhstan’s government also imposed a curfew in Zhanaozen, restricted movement, banned rallies, photo, video recording and the use of Xerox machines.
Under the state of emergency the early parliamentary elections took place in Zhanaozen on January 15.