🇰🇿 #Kazakhstan: Amid alarming reports of deadly violence, UN Human Rights Chief @mbachelet urges all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances. Learn more: https://t.co/4lJ3IXJjZi pic.twitter.com/SxQtF1EQwx
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) January 6, 2022
A state of emergency declared in several areas on 5 January, including in the main city of Almaty and the capital, Nur-Sultan, has now been extended to the whole country.
The decision, including a curfew from 11pm to 7am, called for restrictions to remain in place until at least 19 January.
Ms. Bachelet said that States have the right to declare states of emergency but added that “any derogation of human rights is subject to strict requirements of necessity and proportionality.”
“Certain rights, including the right to life, the prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment, and the right not to be arbitrarily detained, continue to apply in all circumstances,” she said.
Kazakh authorities on Wednesday requested security forces to be sent to the country under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a regional security pact that includes Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Kazakh officials have also informed that more than 2,000 people have been taken into police custody.
Ms. Bachelet called for all those arrested and detained solely for exercising their rights to peaceful protest and freedom of expression, to be released. She stressed that all allegations of human rights violations should be “promptly, independently and thoroughly investigated.”
Since Sunday, Internet services have been significantly disrupted, progressing to a complete shutdown.
For the High Commissioner, shutting down the Internet “is not the answer to a crisis but risks fueling the violence and unrest.”
She urged the authorities to ensure Internet services, which are vital for emergency health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, to be “immediately and completely restored.”
In recent days, the Kazakh Government has said it hopes to have an inclusive and constructive dialogue with protesters.
Ms. Bachelet said it was now time to “take all steps” to make sure this dialogue happens and to respect and protect human rights during the state of emergency and beyond.