As many in our community may have seen across several news & media reports – the situation in Kazakhstan has escalated to a deeply concerning level of violence. Stun grenades, water cannons, and tear gas have been deployed against protestors – killing dozens and severely injuring thousands. We are actively monitoring and wholly reject the use of misinformation and propaganda attempting to create false narratives about the necessity of these actions by Kazakh authorities supported by a Russia-led military alliance of so-called “peacekeepers.”
UAF is committed to amplifying the voices of our feminist movement partners in Kazakhstan – human rights defenders, journalists, and feminist activists who continue fighting for their basic human rights, engaging in peaceful protests, supporting vulnerable communities that are being harmed by state violence, and documenting these violations under threat of persecution and harm.
Our partners in the region have reported the following disturbing developments:
- Unwarranted killing of civilians
- Targeted attacks of activists (the majority of which are engaging in peaceful protests)
- Mass arbitrary arrests to deter further demonstrations
- Periodically shutting down access to the internet and messaging platforms – in an attempt to control the information that the people of Kazakhstan receive and send
We must hold to account the longstanding repression of basic human rights by the Kazak government and authoritarian policies and political system of the state – including its intolerance of dissent, repression on media freedoms, and persecution of activists and human rights defenders and proponents. Endemic corruption and years of increasing economic inequities remain at the root of what activists and human rights defenders are fighting against – and the government’s narratives that try to cast blame otherwise should be fully rejected.
On our part, UAF will continue to provide flexible and rapid resources and facilitate advocacy actions. More than that – we will continue to listen to our partners in the region in trust and partnership.
In the coming days, it is crucial for the international community and philanthropic institutions to act in solidarity with the people of Kazakhstan and frontline activists demanding change, seeking accountability of their government, and fighting for their stories and voices to not be shut down. We ask that you join us in amplifying their stories and sharing them across your networks. Do not let their stories be censored by regimes that continue to violate the basic human rights deserved by all people.