Massacre feared in Kazakhstan
December 16, 2011 5:05 AM   Subscribe

Seventy feared dead and five hundred wounded by riot police in Zhanaozen, west Kazakhstan. Workers in the oil town have been on strike since May; protests (YT) during independence day celebrations escalated into clashes with security forces. Latest reports suggest protesters are gathering again and 1,500 marines are moving in.
posted by Abiezer (23 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Sting was supposed to perform. Wonder what happened...
posted by k8t at 5:45 AM on December 16, 2011

Read he pulled out some months ago, k8t, because of the repression of these striking workers.
posted by Abiezer at 5:53 AM on December 16, 2011

Here's a good new article:
posted by k8t at 6:30 AM on December 16, 2011

I'm at a bit of a loss as to why this isn't being reported more. For both the Guardian and Telegraph sites, not only is it not on the front page, it's not even on the World News pages.
posted by veedubya at 6:38 AM on December 16, 2011

AFAICT news is still coming out mainly in Russian-language media and blogs and via activist networks (I heard about it via a mail list), so may be some time until Western journalists start following up.
posted by Abiezer at 6:43 AM on December 16, 2011

Maybe, but it seems a strange, when the funeral of a newspaper chief in Dagestan makes the front page of the Guardian site, but not what seems to be a mass killing in the same region.
posted by veedubya at 6:49 AM on December 16, 2011

BBC just reporting - officials claiming ten dead.
posted by Abiezer at 6:50 AM on December 16, 2011

Abiezer, I'm not well informed on this subject so apologies for that, but what's your feeling on how the numbers compare from the different sources?

I'm a life-long socialist but, for some reason, am more likely to favour the Beebs numbers than a website called ''. Is that sort of prejudice justified?
posted by veedubya at 7:28 AM on December 16, 2011

That site's run by a Trotskyist organisation (CWI) who I don't have a massive amount in common with politically but do have a good network of activists on the ground in Russia and Kazakhstan, and I heard it via CWI members I know personally who aren't bullshitters in my opinion.
My first thought on reading the BBC report was that if authorities (who are the quoted source) are admitting ten dead in the first instance, the death toll will almost certainly be higher.
posted by Abiezer at 7:42 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by veedubya at 7:53 AM on December 16, 2011

Campaign KZ says 70 dead, 100s injured.
posted by k8t at 8:12 AM on December 16, 2011

Erm... that link is updates from the original post...
posted by k8t at 8:17 AM on December 16, 2011

Summary: Oil workers protesting Independence Day celebrations in western Kazakhstan clash with police (and, according to some reports, special forces). Depending on which information you trust, anywhere from 10-80 workers killed. Withholding judgment until more and more reliable information is available, but potentially a very serious deal.

(Radio Free Europe KZ)
posted by k8t at 8:22 AM on December 16, 2011

Twitter hashtag #жанаозен
posted by k8t at 8:40 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm at a bit of a loss as to why this isn't being reported more.

because only crazed terrorists live in places called "-istan"
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2011

But everyone loves the President there! Inconcievable!
posted by Meatbomb at 10:02 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Human Rights Watch statement, solidarity protests in Aktau.
posted by Abiezer at 7:07 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

The strike was reported on BBC America. They burned various things in the huge square, including a Christmas tree. A Christmas tree in a country where most inhabitants are non-Christian? I guess it was for the few actual Russians, and the few actual tourists left.
Not paying large, strong people their wages will bite you in the ass sooner or later.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:04 PM on December 17, 2011

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