ASTANA, February 22 (Itar-Tass) — Spokesman for the Kazakh Prosecutor General's Office Nurdaulet Suindikov said more than 40 persons are accused of masterminding and participation in mass disturbances in the town of Zhanozen, Mangistau region in the west of the republic last December.
Seven persons are reviewed as the organizers of the riots, and another 36 as their active participants. "Of those, 29 are under arrest; the others are on recognizance," Suindikov told a news briefing on Wednesday.
Senior police officials,rank and file personnel of the law-enforcement bodies of the Mangistau region, former officials of the local executive bodies and top managers of oil companies will be held responsible as well.
The investigators are taking all necessary measures to fully ascertain all the circumstances of the mass disturbance.
On December 16, when Kazakhstan was marking the 20th anniversary of its independence, 16 people were killed in mass disturbances in Zhanaozen, in which dismissed personnel of the oil companies participated. Dozens of other people were injured.
More than 40 buildings were looted and torched. On December 17, Nazarbayev introduced a state of emergency in town for six weeks. Other restrictions imposed on the area included curfew and limited traffic. The authorities prohibited photographing, videoing and the use of copiers. The town did participate in the parliamentary election, but the authorities did not lift the state of emergency during the voting.
At the president's orders, the government is taking all measures to ease social tensions in town.