More than 500 people convicted in Kazakhstan for participating in January riots

More than 500 people convicted in Kazakhstan for participating in January riots

As many as 545 people have been convicted on criminal charges in Kazakhstan following the January riots, Eldos Kilymzhanov, deputy chief of the criminal prosecution service of the Kazak prosecutor general’s office, said on Monday.

"A total of 429 criminal cases were referred to courts following the January developments. As many as 545 people have been convicted under these cases. Eighty-three people have been sentenced to prison terms of charges of committing serious crimes involving violence to government officials and harm to property. Apart from that, they did not compensate for the damage they incurred and had outstanding convictions," he said.

According to Kilymzhanov, 349 people suspected of looting, arsons, weapons embezzlement, armed attacks on government facilities and law enforcers are in custody.

Grassroots riots flared up in Kazakhstan in early January. Protesters attacked police and army officers. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said it was an attempted coup and asked assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led post-Soviet security bloc. The situation in Kazakhstan was stabilized by January 7 and the emergencies regime was lifted across the country on January 19. According to official statistics, 232 people were killed and more than 4,500 were hurt as a result of riots.

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