The trial on last December’s riots in Zhanaozen (Mangistau oblast of Kazakhstan) was transparent and fair, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports citing Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
“It was a simple dispute between employees and employers, which happens everywhere in the world. It would have been resolved (peacefully), but a group of criminal elements pursuing their personal goals turned it into bloody clashes,” Nazarbayev said at the briefing after the talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Vienna on Monday.
“An absolutely transparent and open public investigation was held. The hearings were fair and open for all media and for everyone who wanted to take part in it. Each convict was judged for specific crime and not for something else. Those law-enforcement officers who abused their powers and shot people were also convicted, as well as those who instigated and caused the tragedy,” he stressed.
The clashes hit Zhanaozen and Shetpe village of Mangistau oblast on December 16017, 2011. The clashes claimed 15 lives and left over 100 people wounded. The unrest happened after a 7-month strike of oilmen unhappy with their salaries and socio-economic life conditions.
Kazakhstan General Prosecutor’s office stated that escalation of the social tension was spurred by illegal actions of local officials and managers of the oil companies. Organizers of the clashes were sentenced to different imprisonment terms: from 4 to 7 years. Half of the clashes participants were released under amnesty.