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Man Detained in Almaty Admits “Unknown People” Paid Him $200 to Partake in Kazakh Protests

Man Detained in Almaty Admits “Unknown People” Paid Him $200 to Partake in Kazakh Protests
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_time5 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

A man who has been detained in Almaty has confessed that he'd arrived from Kyrgyzstan after unknown people offered him over $200 to take part in protests in neighboring Kazakhstan.

"Some strangers called me over the phone and offered to participate in the rally in exchange for 90 thousand tenge [over $200]. Since I am unemployed in Kyrgyzstan, I agreed," the detainee told Khabar 24, a local broadcaster.

He said that unidentified people bought him a ticket and paid for a place for him to live in Kazakhstan. According to the man, around ten people from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan lived with him.

The Kyrgyz citizen detained on suspicion of participating in the protests in Kazakhstan, according to the founder of the High-Tech Park of Kyrgyzstan Azis Abakirov, is jazz musician Vikram Rozakhunov.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan said that it is clarifying the circumstances of the detention of the musician in Kazakhstan. The head of the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan said that this person is not a terrorist.

Earlier, Sergei Lebedev, the Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States [CIS], said that protests in Kazakhstan had been prepared in advance in order to destabilize the situation in the country, and its organizers had foreign backing.

"It is obvious today that the destructive elements, the bandits were preparing for mass rallies in advance to destabilize the country and had foreign support," Lebedev said. "These provocateurs, guides, and sponsors of the so-called “color revolutions” and riots in the CIS these days declare with feigned pride their leading role in criminal acts in the cities of Kazakhstan."

Lebedev echoes Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said on 6 January that the events in Kazakhstan were “a foreign-inspired attempt to use armed and trained groups of people forcibly to undermine the security and integrity of the state”.

On 5 January, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that there was a group of "financially motivated" plotters with a carefully masterminded plan behind the protests, vowing decisive actions against any criminals.

The protests in Kazakhstan started on 2 January and were prompted by a surge in gas prices. The demonstrations first began in the southwestern areas of the country and were peaceful, but then they quickly spread to other cities, evolving into violent riots. Kazakhstan has turned to its allies from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation [CSTO], requesting them to send peacekeepers to safeguard strategic infrastructure facilities in the country due to the unrest.