"About 500" People were arrested on Sunday during protests against the presidential election in Kazakhstan, which will see the almost certain victory of the protege of the historic leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, said the Kazakh deputy interior minister.
Polling stations closed in this huge country of Central Asia, a former Soviet republic, the participation rate to three hours of the closing of the first polling stations being 73%, according to the electoral authorities.
A true false election in Kazakhstan
The appointed successor of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Acting President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, is almost certain to prevail against mostly unknown candidates, the only real question being the extent of his victory.
But this election was marked by the most important events that this country has known in three years. In the two main Kazakh cities, the capital Nur-Sultan and Almaty, AFP journalists witnessed several hundred arrests.
An AFP journalist was taken to a police station before being released while an AFP video reporter saw his equipment confiscated. Two journalists from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, a US-funded media, were briefly detained by police in Almaty (south) and Nur-Sultan, where a representative of the NGO Helsinki Committee suffered same fate.
Kazakhstan, the false departure of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the "Napoleon of Central Asia"
Several other journalists or political activists have been arrested, some still in detention. According to a Deputy Minister of the Interior, Marat Kojayev, "About a hundred" protesters were apprehended in both cities.
" Shame ! Shame ! Shame ! " or "The police on our side! "shouted some demonstrators in Almaty before the police dispersed the rally.
Since the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan is experiencing a rare social unrest that has led to a stiffening of the authorities. The most virulent opponent of the regime, former exiled banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, had called for protests on Sunday.
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