In Aktau, on December 9, Zhanaozen activists organised a memorial dinner in memory of the people of their town who were killed in the police attack of 16 December last year. The event was generally peaceful but there were a number of arrests.
Socialist Movement Kazakhstan, Zhanaozen
The dinner was organised in the village of Tenge, near Zhanaozen. Yurts were erected and local people came along, including workers who were not on shift. There were visitors from other cities, including some public figures but people asked them to refrain from making controversial speeches.
It is worth noting that the Zhanaozen Mayor (akimat) tried to officially prohibit people from meeting together to mark the day of mourning. However, the event went off without any mass arrests and detentions, although the police still detained a few people for three hours, including the social activist from Uralsk, Maksat Aysautova.
Prior to this, the Administrative Court of the city of Aktau had sentenced prominent human rights lawyer, Nurgazieva Asel, to 12 days in prison for ‘disorderly conduct’, alleging that she attacked a woman and beat her up! The authorities were once again using their favourite way of neutralising the ‘awkward’ social activist and oil workers’ lawyer.