NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Saturday rejected calls for an international investigation into a crisis that has claimed more than 200 lives, prompting the country to call in Russian-led troops.
Tokayev and other Kazakh officials blamed bandits and terrorists with foreign ties for the clashes that rocked Central Asia’s wealthiest country earlier this month, while offering little evidence to back that up. theory.
In his first TV interview since the crisis began, Tokayev reiterated that militants had attacked Kazakhstan and said the state was able to investigate the events without foreign help.
“As for an international investigation into the events in Kazakhstan, I don’t see the need for such an investigation. We have our own people who are honest and objective,” Tokayev said in the interview broadcast by state-run Khabar TV.
International human rights organizations and the European Parliament are among those pushing for an international inquiry into the violence that erupted after peaceful protests initially aimed at raising fuel prices in western country before spreading to other political demands.
In his interview, Tokayev called the European Parliament’s resolution of January 20 “non-objective, premature”.
“That doesn’t worry me,” he added.
The European Parliament adopted by an overwhelming majority a resolution calling for “a genuine international investigation into the crimes committed during the violence against the people of Kazakhstan”.
Several people arrested during the crisis have since been released and claimed to have been tortured by police while in custody.
Other citizens accused soldiers of shooting at civilian cars during the state of emergency that ended last week.
Kazakhstan’s prosecutor said hundreds of those detained were being investigated for terrorism and crimes related to mass unrest.
A contingent of more than 2,000 troops from the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization began arriving in the country on January 6 and completed its withdrawal about two weeks later once the situation stabilized.