Those who took part in the recent riots in Zhanaozen (a town in Mangistau oblast, West Kazakhstan) were drunk at the time of committing the unlawful actions, additionally, each of them was paid 20 000 tenge ($ 135), Interfax-Kazakhstan reports.
“Each young man (who partook in riots) was given 20,000 tenge and made drunk. We are closely investigating this case and will look at each death separately,” President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said at the meeting with the town residents. The meeting was broadcast by state TV channel “Khabar” on Friday.
“We will look for organizers (of the riots), where ever in the world they are hiding now. There will be a trial, and those guilty will be punished,” Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed. “The investigation is not a matter of one day. The instigators did their thing and went into hiding. Half of them have been already detained, but the one who orchestrated this has not shown up in Zhanaozen at all,” the head of the state remarked. He also added, that “oil workers who simply fell for the crowd effect will be let go if they are not found guilty.”
Nevertheless, president noted that he sympathized with the families of killed people. “I came to express my condolences to the families of those killed, but you are all aware how it happened: peaceful people came to celebrate, and instigators, drunk and armed, intruded the crowd. Everything was purposefully planned, but the police had no fire arms at hand at the time. They were hit on the head when they fell, and when someone wanted to give help they were not let to,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
He said that “the police had to go back to the building of the department of internal affairs and get armed.” “What were they left to do? They were entitled by law to use the weapons if they were attacked. The police however, despite anything, were shooting into the air. When this did not help, they started shooting into the ground. The instigators however were pushing the crowd forward.” Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed.
The head of the state promised that Zhanaozen residents will be offered jobs. “(…) we will ensure Zhanaozen residents are employed, but if they do not agree, we have another alternative: a large number of new production enterprises under industrialization project are opening throughout the country. These are new opportunities. If the youth see no prospects at home, they can go to work in other regions of Kazakhstan. We will facilitate: pay for transportation and training, provide accommodation and employment,” Nursultan Nazarbayev noted.
He also told that he planned to visit Mangistau oblast earlier. “Already this summer I wanted to come to visit, but I was ensured, that everything is all right and all issues are being addressed, the people come down and get employed. Then I planned to visit in September and again, everyone from oblast authorities and KazMunaiGaz management told me that there is no need to visit, and all issues are being solved. It turns out I was simply misinformed,” the head of the state told.
Last week widespread violence and clashes took place in Zhanaozen and Shetpe village in Mangistau oblast. 16 people were killed and 100 injured in total. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the instigators of clashes were laid off workers of oil companies. This Thursday, aside from staff changes in KazMunaiGaz and change in authorities of Mangistau oblast, the head of the state announced that the chair of the board of state fund of national welfare Samruk-Kazyna Timur Kulibayev will be asked to resign.
The strikes in Zhanaozen were started in late May by the workers of Ozenmunaigaz (production branch of JCS KazMunaiGaz Exploration and Extraction). The workers of Karazhanbasmunaigaz and its branches ArgymakTransService and TulparMunaiService were also on strike. There were asking for the salary raise. Due to unauthorized strikes around 2000 workers were fired.