What Do We Know About Janaozen Events?

What Do We Know About Janaozen Events?

By Victor Gott

December 16th, 2012 is the anniversary of sadly famous event in Kazakhstani city Janaozen, which gained broad fame, as on thoroughly developing island of peace and security unfavorable precedent took place. 


The image of Kazakhstan, which in record terms enhanced significantly among world community, thanks to its peaceful foreign policy, clear line within anti-nuclear, and peacekeeping spheres, has been ruined to some extent. And the main unpleasant thing is that it’s complicated to wash out such “slur”. The country has appeared pressed by strong critics of some international organizations and politicians. In principle, this is an ordinary phenomenon in international policy and one should be ready for that. And regarding peaceful and reach with minerals Kazakhstan, which doesn’t lead aggressive policy within international arena and in the past century independently refused of multiple and powerful nuclear arsenal, this can be another bargain subject. 


Naturally, the actions and opinions of individual international organizations in relation to Kazakhstan after Janaozen events could be not focused on, provided one circumstance: ambiguity of the situation around “Janaozen case” together with unwillingness to take seriously the official view of Kazakhstani authorities can serve the world community badly. Civilized West has it evidently difficult to study out  all the peculiarities of East. One can’t base policy on emotions and treat Janaozen events one side only, blaming only Kazakhstani authorities.


What do we know about Janaozen events? Thanks to those communities and organizations, which had access to top information about December 16th tragedy, and also received free access to trials on judging the participants of the events in Janaozen (this is Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch etc.), it is known that:


а) the authorities of Kazakhstan severely suppressed disturbances of the oil-men, who imposed fair demands to increase salaries;


b) the court was prejudiced towards the participants of as if peaceful protest; 


с) the court became the mean to punish political opponents of the authorities;


d) sentence for those, who according to the prosecution,  was the initiators of the disturbances in Janaozen, was politicized.


But by this, another side of the case remains to be almost unknown due to various reasons. Thus, due to these or that reasons ignored is the fact that the protest participants acted criminally: broke and fired the city and other people’s property– cars, shops, cafes, banks, offices, the city hall. Although in Kazakhstan as known, the law forbids private property, which makes this country the most attractive for investments within the area of the former USSR. 


Protesting people acted unexpectedly and highly organized. They had ready billies and flame fluids, and according to national law this is qualified as “commitment of crime by a group of people under preliminary confederacy:” and is subjected to severe punishment by the law. All this was admitted by the accused persons on the case of Janaozen disturbances.


In course of the investigation and open trial which was observed by international organizations, accredited in Kazakhstan, the reason of disturbances was recognized the actions of activists of non-registered in Kazakhstan oppositional party “Alga”, financed from abroad by escaped oligarch Ablyazov, who had left criminal trace in Kazakhstan. This person, who by means of the documents covered earlier from the government of Great Britain, escaped after the Supreme Court of London sentenced him to 22 months of prison for disrespect towards the court.


So, under the order of Ablyazov the functionaries of “Alga” party corrupted fired workers towards mass protest actions and severe confrontations with the authorities. This confrontation resulted into smashings, foray and victims among people. Judging by the materials of the investigation, exactly the people of Ablyazov took direct part in intense politicization of the demands of protesting oilmen, gave them worm clothing, money for their families, and vodka on December 16th.


According to the reporters, who observed the trials, in course of the process it turned out that false information about big number of dead in Janaozen to provoke people was disseminated by the Mass Media controlled by Ablyazov. As per the prosecutor, the “Alga” party only pretended that it acted in the sake of people, and in reality it incited social hostility to initiate coup d’etat and spent big money to create criminal groups.


Criminal case against Ablyazov was started and absentia arrest was implemented against him in Russia, and Kazakhstan demands his extradition regarding accusations in great fraud and withdrawal of funds through shell companies. The total scope of illegally appropriated funds by Ablyazov is estimated about 5 bln USD. Nine court actions were issued against the businessman.


Mr. Ablyazov has close business relations with famous in Europe Rakhat Aliyev, hiding from Kazakhstani and Austrian justice in Malta (accused and suspected in kidnapping and murdering people), and also he  is a relative of another escaped Kazakhstani oligarch, who is wanted by Interpol and hiding in Switzerland - Viktor Khrapunov. So Janaozen can have the trace of Ablyazov and this personality is really complicated. In this whole story it is understood and recognized by all parties only one thing – during 7 months oilmen during protest actions fairly demanded increase of salaries and remained to be not heard, which was used by criminal elements. 


As Kazakhstani General Prosecutor declared, enhancement of social tension was also assisted by illegal actions of local executive powers officials and Heads of oil companies. That is why as a result of trials arrested and sentenced for different terms of imprisonment were the Mayor of Janaozen and the First Deputy Mayor of Magnitausk region. A number of top officials of Kazakhstan were dismissed. Together with that the initiators were put on trial, who provoked disturbances as well as the policemen, who violated their authorities and shot the protesters.


After these events the government of Kazakhstan learned specific lessons and made conclusions: a complex plan to solve Janaozen issues has been adopted, significant funds have been issued. Only this year the amount comprised 100 mln USD. Most part was spent on modernization of social infrastructure of the city and suburbs. Here they build schools, kindergartens, culture and health establishment and new dwelling, improve the districts, repair municipal sewage system and heating networks. Special plan for entrepreneurship was developed to provide state support of private entrepreneurship. 


All this deprives of the arguments those persons, who try to interfere into court decisions, which is unacceptable in a legal state, as principle and fundamental bases are undermined. This was repeatedly stated during the court over those guilty in the events. And that the calls of individual states or political vies of defendants are refused of as the ground for their decision adoption.






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