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Calendar of strikes of the oil industry workers in Western Kazakhstan (Mangistau)


11.05.2011 – Beginning of the strike of the workers of the following oil extraction and production companies: ‘OzenMunayGaz’, ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ (investor from China), ‘Ersai Caspian Contractor’ (Italian ENI holding).

17.05.2011 – Workers of the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ JSC announced a general hunger strike, which  later resulted in a strike, paralising the activity of the company. The shareholders of the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ are Chinese CITIC and Kazakh „Razvedka Dobycha ‘KazMunayGaz’ with an equal shareholding.

19.05.2011 – Kairgeldy Kabyldin, the head of the oil company ‘KazMunayGaz’ JSC stated in the lobby of an investment forum in Kazakhstan that the demands of the strikers who work in the  Karazhanbas deposit are illegal.

23.05.2011 – A group of citizens filed a petition to the akimat (a regional body of executive power in Kazakhstan) of the city of Almaty to hold a rally in defence of the rights and freedoms of activists of the JSC “Karazhanbasmunai” labour union. The rally was scheduled for the 4th of June, 2011. The list of organisers included Dennis Alimbekov, Esenbek Ukteshbaev, Aynur Kurmanov and Aynur Albekovich.

25.05.2011 – Arresting of Natalia Sokolova, a lawyer of the labour union within the Karazhanbasmunay company.

27.05.2011 – The Zhanaozene City Court deems the strike to be illegal – announcement of future intervention of law enforcement agencies against participants in the strikes.


01.06.2011 – Death (due to heart attack) of Sabit Kenzhebaev, the car column manager of the Karazhanbasmunay enterprise; he had been forced to dismiss the striking employees.

05.06.2011 – In the centre of Aktau, a march of striking employees of the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ company was dispersed. Oil workers were planning to go near the building of the akimat in order to put up a tent and camp on the central square. They demanded the immediate release of the lawyer of the oil workers’ labour union, Natalia Sokolova from detention and to reinstate all the dismissed workers/activists of the Mangistau region. A column of 500 men was blocked by the police. 37 people were detained, of whom seven were released the same evening. The Administrative Court ruled to punish them with a fine of a minimum amount for violation of public order.

05.06.2011 – Suicide attempt of Kuanysh Sisenbaev, the leader of the trade union of employees working in the Karazhanbasmunay enterprise.

06.06.2011 – In the 26th district of Aktau a rally was held by several hundred employees of the  ‘Karazhanbasmunay’. The workers came with their families in order to wait for the decision of the administrative court in the case of 30 detainees (the striking oil workers of the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ company who were apprehended on the 5th of June, 06.2011).

07.06.2011 – Russian Section of the Committee for a Workers’ International held a rally of solidarity with striking oil workers of the companies ‘Karazhanbasmunay'” and Ozenmunaygaz’.
09.06.2011 – International Union of Workers and Peoples of Kazakhstan addressed the authorities with a request to solve the difficult situation of workers of the oil companies in the Mangistau region. In their appeal, the coordinators of the Union require justice for the lawyer Sokolova and laid-off workers. The text of the statement was signed by Louisa Hanoun (the General Secretary of The Workers’ Party of Algeria) and Daniel Glyukshteyn, the secretary of the Independent Labour Party (France).

10.06.2011 – In St. Petersburg, a picket of solidarity with the Kazakh oil industry workers was held.

12.06.2011 – Battery of Nuriash Abdreymova, an opposition politician of the Mangystau District who supported the striking workers.

16.06.2011 – Assemblies of the workers of mining and oil and gas companies received the statements of solidarity with the striking Mangistau oil workers. The action was attended by the employees of ‘Kazakhmys’, ‘Arcelor Mittal Temirtau’, ‘Aktobe’, miners of the Shakhtynskiy Region of the following mines: Abayskaya, Tentekskaya, Lenin mine, Shakhtynskaya, Kazakhstanskaya.

16.06.2011 – In London, a picket in support of the strikers was held in front of the Embassy of Kazakhstan. The organisers of the rally were the Socialist Party of England and Wales and representatives of the British labour unions of rail and oil workers.

24.06.2011 – Ersai Caspian Contractor, oil extraction and processing company,  dismissed over 700 striking workers of oil companies (the majority of them did not obtain their certificate of employment, which automatically made it impossible for them to look for a new job).

30.06.2011 – Akzhanat Aminov, a labour union activist, a manager of social-administrative supply of the Boreholes Maintenance and Management (UOS-5) of the production branch of the OzenMunayGas enterprise was sentenced to 2 months’ imprisonment.


01.07.2011 – Vladimir Kozlov, the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the ‘Alga!’ People’s Party made a statement regarding the events in Zhanaozen, in which he pointed out that the local authorities, the leadership of the ‘Ozenmunaygaz’ company as well as law enforcement agencies of the Mangistau region deliberately provoked the strikers and starving workers to revolt. The text of the declaration states that “in the event of an unmanaged situation in Mangistau, all responsibility for the consequences will lie exclusively with the company’s owners, local authorities, Timur Kulibaev and President Nazarbaev”.

03.07.2011 Sting, the musician, decided not to take part in celebration of the Day of Astana, as he shares the position of the international organisation Amnesty International, which notified the suppression of the rights of employees of oil companies, labour union members and their lawyers as well NGO representatives who work with them.

08.07.2011 – Natalia Azhygaliyeva, an activist on behalf of the rights of the OzenMunayGas employees was dismissed from work and a criminal case against her was initiated after her flight from the hospital, in which she became subject to compulsory hospitalization

08.07.2011 –  Physical assault and incarceration of 30 participants in the strikes by a special police unit in the city of Zhanaozene

9-10.07.2011 – Mass demonstrations by civilians in the city of Mangistau in a show of solidarity with the workers of the oil companies 

17.07.2011 – MEP Paul Murphy met with the striking oil workers of the Mangistau region.

20.07.2011 – Open letter of members of the European Parliament to the President of Kazakhstan containing grave concerns over the situation in Western Kazakhstan, with a request to resolve the conflict situation in Mangistau peacefully.

22.07.2011. Amnesty International in its appeal to the Kazakh authorities urged them to immediately release Natalia Sokolova and Akzhanata Aminova, the leaders of independent labour unions, to carry out an investigation of the illegal actions of the police during dispersal of the  strikers in Mangistau, and to punish all those involved in the escalation of the conflict in the west of the country.


02.08.2011 – Bakhyt Tumenova, Serik Sapargali and Zhanbolat Mamay stated that in the airport of Aktau they were met by a group aggressive young men who demanded that they give up their plans to visit the striking oil workers, and the police attempted to prevent their entry into the city of Zhanaozen.

03.08.2011 – Death of Zhaksylyk Turbayev, a borer of the ‘MunayFieldService’ enterprise which belongs to the ‘OzenMunayGaz’, an activist and a candidate for Chairman of the trade union of the enterprise, murdered on business premises under unknown circumstances.

07.08.2011 – Collective declarations of disassociation with the presidential party ‘Nur Otan’ resulting from  the improper attitude of authorities to the striking employees.

08.08.2011 – Natalia Sokolova was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

08.08.2011 – Meeting of the striking employees with the representatives of the opposition organisation ‘The People’s Front’ in Aktau; approx. 3,000 oil workers declared secession of involvement with the government party ‘Nur Otan’. 

09.08.2011 – Representatives of the ‘Khalyk Maidany – People’s Front (KM-PF) issued a statement entitled ‘Natalia Sokolova was wrongfully convicted!’, in which they expressed their disagreement with the court judgment passed on the 8th of August, 2011.

10.08.2011 – A statement was made by the Freedom House in defence of Natalia Sokolova, a lawyer, about the improper use of courts as a political tool of repression against opposition.

16.08.2011 – Arresting of Zhanobolat Mamay, the president of the youth organisation “Rukh Pen Til” which supports the striking employees.

17.08.2011 – Akzhanat Aminov, who was apprehended on the 30th of June, 2011, was given a suspended sentence of one year’s imprisonment. According to the decision of the court, he cannot leave his house or his workplace from 10.00 p.m. until 6.00 a.m., and he is not allowed to leave the city without permission.

17.08.2011 – By the decision of the Administrative Court of Aktau, Zhanbolat Mamay, the leader of the youth wing of the opposition, was incarcerated for 10 days on charges of malicious defiance of the police officers’ instructions.

18.08.2011 – Arresting of Dmitriy Tikhonov and Arman Ozhaubayev, activists of the organisation “Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan”, for the organization of an action in support of the imprisoned Natalia Sokolova

19.08.2011 and 25.08.2011 – Three inspection services: a fire safety inspector, a sanitary inspector and the representative of the State Architectural Building Inspection Service came to the editorial office of the in order to carry out the inspection of the offices leased by the journalists. The official reason was the complaints of the residents of the houses about the “radioactivity” of personal computers, monitors and other office equipment and also of the satellite dishes installed on the roofs of the residential building, where the offices of the were located. Still, the same antennas which make it possible to watch satellite channels and use the Internet, which were mounted on the neighboring houses did not give rise to suspicion of dangerous levels of “radioactivity.”

21.08.2011 – Vladimir Kozlov, the leader of the ‘Alga!’ People’s Party met with the striking oil workers of Zhanaozen.

23.08.2011 – Conviction of Zhanna Baytelova, a journalist of the ‘Golos Respubliki’ newspaper  to 14 days of arrest  for actions carried out in support of the striking employees of the oil companies in Mangystau and of Natalia Sokolova, the lawyer of the labour union of the employees of the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’. 

24.08.2011 – Death of Zhansaule Karabalaeva, a daughter of Kudaybergen Karabalaev,  murdered by unknown perpetrators. Kudaybergen Karabalaev is the chairman of the labor union of the employees of UOS-1 (one of the production branches of the ‘OzenMunayGaz’).

24.08.2011 – An appeal in the case of Sokolova was filed in the Mangistau Regional Court.

24.08.2011 – The court of the city of Aktau refused to reinstate 28 employees of oil companies, dismissed for taking part in the protest action during which they demanded the reinstatement of their dismissed colleagues. The demands also included recovery of average earnings for the time of forced absence and payment of monetary compensation for moral damages to the previously laid-off oil workers.  The strikes began on the 11th of May, 2011.


01.09.2011 A statement was made in connection with Natalia Sokolova’s imprisonment, blockage of web sites and the transfer of prison management in Kazakhstan – the speech was given by the Ambassador Ian Kelly at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna. The Ambassador Ian Kelly said that Sokolova’s trial was accompanied by violation of due process, which casts doubt on the validity of the verdict. The sentence of 6 years  imprisonment given to Sokolova for inciting social hatred and organizing illegal gatherings is extremely severe. On behalf of the United States, he appealed to the Kazakh government to reconsider the case and to take appropriate steps to remedy procedural defects.

01.09.2011 – According to the strikers, in Zhanaozen approx. 600 oil workers’ children did not start their school year in schools  due to financial problems in their families. On the same day a protest action of approx. 200 striking oil workers took place in the city of Aktau. The workers with their wives and children went to the city square  near the office of the company “Karazhanbasmunay.”

05.09.2011 – Leaders of 30 women’s and human rights NGOs urged President Nursultan Nazarbaev to immediately release Natalia Sokolova, the lawyer of the labour union of the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ who was sentenced to six years of imprisonment. The petition was signed by Rosa Abilova, Tamara Kaleyeva, Evgeniya Kozyreva, Bakhyt Tumenova and other 26 leaders of women’s organisations.

05.09.2011 – In Poland, Greece and Sweden actions in support of the striking oil workers in Western Kazakhstan were held. During the picket in front of the embassies and consulates of Kazakhstan, the labour movement activists distributed leaflets with information on the situation of workers in Kazakhstan.

07.09.2011 – The Chairman of the Board of JSC “Sovereign Wealth Fund” Samruk-Kazyna” , Timur Kulibaev said they are not going to re-employ the strikers, as “they  have violated labour laws.”

07.09.2011 – In the building of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service (SES) of Bostandyk District of Almaty, the head of one of the branches of this organisation beat Talgat Umirbekov, a cameraman of the ‘’ video portal. As a punishment for video recording, Talgat Umirbekov was hit against the door jamb, pushed out of the building and his clothes were torn. The camera survived.

08.09.2011 – Arresting of Natalia Azhygalieva, an activist of the striking workers of the  “Ozenmunaygaz” oil production enterprise. The next day, the Administrative Court of Zhanaozen convicted the activist of the Strike Committee of the striking oil workers to a 15 day custodial sentence under Article 355 part 2 (“”Failure to comply with regulations or willful disobedience of lawful instruction or order of a worker of the prosecutorial agency or internal affairs unit (the police department)”). During the unauthorized search carried out at the arrest of Natalia Azhigalieva, a 12-year-old boy, Nurbulat Ongarbaev was beaten by the police officer whilst trying to protect his mother.  

13/09/2011 – During a plenary session in Strasbourg, MEP Marek Migalski presented the problem of several months of strikes by oil workers across the Mangistau District, affecting the oil sector which is integral to Kazakhstan’s economy and a major public company, the KazMunayGaz. Marek Migalski appealed to the European Union to make  decisions relating to Kazakhstan and the help provided to this country conditional on its observation of human rights on its territory.

15.09.2011. MEP Paul Murphy commented on the strikes of oil workers of Kazakhstan and appealed to the Kazakh people not to give in.

15.09.2011 – The Almaty Inter-District Economic Court issued a decision in connection with the claim filed by the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station of Bostandyk Disctrict against the LLP “Namystan”, which suspended the operation of the receiving and transmitting device belonging to the video portal “” until deficiencies are corrected. For the editorial staff of the video portal it means that they cannot use the Internet, which severely restricts their professional activities.

15.09.2011 – An open letter was sent to the President of Kazakhstan on behalf of 45 million industrial workers represented by the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) and International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM), calling him to immediately start the investigation into the incidents of persecution and violence against trade union activists of the Mangistau district and to take all necessary measures to end the suffering of workers.

19.09.2011 – Kazakh journalists of the video portal received threats from people who introduced themselves as officers of security forces in Kazakhstan. In case of refusal to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, the journalists: Sherniyaz Shagatay and Azamat Esbergenov) received death threats against themselves and their family members.

20.09.2011 – A statement was made by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) with regard to the court decision on Sokolova, with demands made for Kazakhstan to respect freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association and freedom of every person. The use of the criminal justice system to suppress legitimate and peaceful struggle of the lawyer whose aim was to protect the rights of oil workers is unacceptable. The NHC appealed to the court to use the opportunity of an appeal to revoke the sentence and to sanction the immediate release of Sokolova.

20.09.2011 – International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech ‘Adil Soza published an opinion of a linguistic commission on the statements of Natalia Sokolova, the lawyer of  the open joint stock company ‘Labour Union of the Workers of Karazhanbas’. According to the analysis, the words spoken by the sentenced woman did not include any illegal content. The opinion of experts No. 284-E of the 31th of August, 2011 was signed by the Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor W.S. Lee and PhD, Assistant Professor R.D. Karymsakovа.

22.09.2011 In Almaty, a rally in support of the striking oil workers of Zhanaozen was held. Protesters collected donations and sent them by post to the families of the workers in Mangistau.

26.09.2011 – The Appellate Court of the Mangistau District Court in the city of Aktau dismissed an appeal filed by Natalia Sokolova (a lawyer of the labour union of the “Karazhanbasmunay”) and upheld the decision of the Aktau City Court.

26.09.2011 – A statement was made by the Human Rights Watch with regard to Natalia Sokolova: the labour union lawyer should not have been convicted for legally protected free speech.

27.09.2011 – Freedom House condemned the decision of the Mangistau District Court which dismissed an appeal filed by Natalia Sokolova (a lawyer of the labour union of the “Karazhanbasmunay”) and upheld the decision of the Aktau City Court.

27.09.2011 – During the OSCE Meeting organized to review the implementation of obligations in the sphere of human dimension, the U.S. Ambassador, David Johnson stated that in  Kazakhstan the right to freedom and of peaceful assembly and association is severely and unjustifiably limited. As an example, he mentioned the case of Natalia Sokolova, the lawyer of the striking oil workers and the arrest of an opposition activist Zhanbolat Mamay.

28.09.2011 – A side-event of the independent Kazakh press was held in Warsaw, Poland. All members of the official Kazakh delegation took part in the meeting. Also, the event was attended by representatives of European states and international organisations, social activists of  Kazakhstan, including Tamara Kaleyeva, Vladimir Kozlov and Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

28.09.2011 – In Warsaw (Poland), by the hotel ‘Sofitel Victoria’, where the OSCE meeting on Human Rights was held, a picket in support of the striking oil workers, the convicted Natalia Sokolova and Evgeniy Zhovtis took place. “Today Zhovtis and Sokolova. Who’s going to be next?”- with such slogans on T-shirts and leaflets 14 citizens of Kazakhstan and other CIS countries came to the building of the hotel. The event was organised by the Open Dialog Foundation.

29.09.2011 – At a meeting of the ‘Expert’ Discussion Club in Astana, the President of JSC ‘National Welfare Fund’ Samruk-Kazyna’ said that the instigators of the oil workers in Western Kazakhstan who have been on strike since May are Kazakhs who came there from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

30.09.2011 – Members of the European Parliament issued a letter of protest condemning the repression of opposition activists in Kazakhstan: Ajnur Kurmanov, Esenbek Ukteshbayev and other leaders of the socialist movement in Kazakhstan. MEPs underlined their support and once again concurred with the statements made by the U.S. Mission and the European Union within the OSCE in which they express their concern about the procedural irregularities during the course of the trial of Natalia Sokolova, the Karazhanbasmunay’s labour union lawyer, and about violations of human rights and freedoms in Kazakhstan.


03.10.2011 – Abay Abenov, a 30-year old electrician of the “Ozenenergoneft” company who was dismissed from work, hanged himself. His colleagues were quick to stress that there was a link between the tragedy and  the desperate situation in which he had recently found himself, just like many other strikers due to the civic position that they had  taken. As a result, the deceased faced the lack of means of subsistence for himself and his large family (his wife is unemployed) and had no employment prospects because of his participation in the strikes.

05.10.2011 – Representatives of Oralmans (repatriates: ethnic Kazakhs who arrived in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union) issued a statement in which they accused Timur Kulibaev, the president of the board of the “Samruk-Kazyna” JSC, of inciting social discord. The reason for the accusation was Kulibaev’s previous statement, in which he suggested that the striking oil workers are controlled by Kazakh repatriates, who emigrated from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

05.10.2011 — Citizens of depressed districts of the city of Almaty sent a letter to the President and the Government of Kazakhstan with a request to start negotiations with the striking oil workers in order not to repeat the tragedy that happened in the village of Shanyrak. Let us remind ourselves that on the 14th of July, 2006, the Almaty police, backed by a special forces detachment, tried to break the stronghold of the Shanyrak villagers of the city of Almaty who tried to prevent the demolition of illegally constructed houses. As a result, one policeman was killed.

06.10.2011 – The oil company ‘Razvedka Dobycha KazMunayGaz’ (‘RD KMG’) issued a statement which denied the report on negotiations which allegedly began in Zhanaozen between the employers and the striking workers. The company said that “its representatives were not and are not involved in any negotiations regarding the reinstatement of the illegal protest members, dismissed for absenteeism”.

08.10.2011 – In Zhanaozen, an attack with the use of non-lethal weapon was carried out against two activists of the striking oil workers: Zhanar Saktaganova and Ajzhangul Amirova.

24.10.2011 – In Zhanaozen police stopped a car with copies of the ‘Golos Respubliki’ newspaper. The circulation of the title was purchased by representatives of the coalition ‘People’s Front of Kazakhstan’ in order to be distributed free of charge among the striking oil workers of Zhanaozen.

24.10.2011 — The Almaty City Court dismissed Gaziz Aldamzharov’s appeal against the decision of the Specialised Administrative Court of the city of Almaty on the 4th of October to suspend for six months the operation of the Communist Party headed by him on charges of illegal participation in an unregistered social association.

24.10.2011 – In London (England) a protest against the ongoing oppression of the striking workers and civil society activists was held. The event took place before the opening of a two-day conference – ‘Kazakhstan Business Forum’.
26.10.2011 – In Zhanaozen at about 5.30 p.m. local time, a gunshot attack was carried out against the dismissed striking oil worker, Yestay Karashaev.

26.10.2011 – In Aktau in the Mangistau district, a gunshot attack was carried out against Orken Bisenov, a journalist and Asan Amilov, a cameraman of the video portal

26.10.2011 – Public figures of Kazakhstan issued a statement “on crime and impune provocations and irresponsibility of the bodies of the Ministry of Interior in Mangistau” in connection with the attacks on Estay Karashaev, an activist of the strike and on the crew of the online portal ‘Stan-TV’. The statement was signed by Ayzhangul Amirova, Bolat Atabaev, Igor Vinyavskiy, Vladimir Kozlov, Igor Kolov, Zhanbolat Mamay, Serik Sapargali amongst others.

27.10.2011 – The Almaty City Court rejected the appeal of the  “STAN Production” and LLC “Namystan” with regard to the claims filed by the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station to  suspend the activity of the companies. Congruent to the judges of the first instance, the judges of  the appellate court neither explained nor substantiated their ruling.


02.11.2011 – The Department of the Interior of the Mangistau Province released an announcement that a suspect in the murder of Zhaksylyk Turbaev, the 28-year-old driller of the ‘MunayFieldService” was apprehended in Zhanaozen. Also, according to the statement, a suspect in the investigation of the murder of the daughter of Kudaibergen Karabalaev, the ‘OzenmunayGaz’ labour union activist, was also detained.

15.11.2011 – Vice-Minister of Labour and Social Security held a meeting on employment of the discharged oil workers. The meeting was held in the akimat of the city Zhanaozen. Birzhan Nurymbetov took note of the statement of representatives of the striking workers that the question on final dismissal of many of them is not completely resolved, as lawsuits are carried out in all the cases, and offered the representatives of the striking workers an option of reinstatement of all employees to their former jobs but with the same level of pay  and without the use of multiplying coefficients.

21.11.2011 — Participants of the meeting of the citizens of Kazakhstan put forward a demand to establish a multilateral mediation commission which would include the representatives of the  government, executive authorities, civil society and the parties involved in the labour dispute: employers and striking oil workers.

22.11.2011 – Representatives of the striking and dismissed oil workers of the Mangistau Province addressed an open appeal to employees of main industrial enterprises, workers of  defence and work enforcement agencies, the society, journalists and the media of the RK, urging them to establish independent  labour unions in their companies. The text of the appeal included the quotation of the provisions of the Kazakh law which guarantee the protection of civil rights.

23.11.2011 – Zhanna Baytelova, a participant of the actions in support of striking oil workers and their convicted activist Natalia Sokolova, filed a lawsuit in the Zhrtysuskiy District Court of the city of Almaty, calling for recognition of the actions of officials as illegal and to compensate her for the suffering caused to her.  

23.11.2011 – 25.11.2011 – The akimat of the city of Zhanaozen announced the start of meetings with the striking workers of the production branch ‘OzenMunayGaz’ and the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ JSC.  Nevertheless, no decisions on the part of the government or the employers were made.


01.12.2011 – Unknown perpetrators ransacked the house of Murat Kosbatyrov, the striking oil workers activist.

16.12.2011 – Police clashed with the striking oil workers. According to official data,during the events, the city of akimat, a hotel, and the office of the ‘OzenMunayGaz were burned. Ten fatalities were reported. In the course of further investigation it was announced that 14 people were killed and 99 were wounded.

During the events mobile phone coverage in the town was blocked which made obtaining of objective information difficult.

16.12.2011 – In the office of the ‘Alga!’ People’s Party, a press conference on the events in Zhanaozen was held.  

16.12.2011 – General Prosecutor’s Office in the RK initiated a criminal case against ‘the illegal actions of a group of people’. The official statement issued by the department mentions that during the clashes in Zhanaozen, two police officers were injured.

16.12.2011 – The UN Committee on human rights expressed its concern in connection with the death of 10 persons in the Zhanaozen riots.

17.12.2011 – Actions of the police were negatively assessed by international organisations. The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch urged law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan to observe human rights whilst restoring order in Zhanaozen, Mangistau Province.  The OSCE Chairman, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis expressed his concern over the violence in Zhanaozen and called for peace. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton expressed her concern over the events. Forty-seven MEPs addressed a letter with the demand to investigate into the events.

17.12.2011 – President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree announcing a  state of emergency in Zhanaozen, Mangistau Province, in the west of the country. At a meeting of the Security Council in Astana, he said that the police, when restoring order in Zhanaozen, acted within the limits of their authority and in accordance with the law.

17.12.2011 – The unrest in the town of Zhanaozen, Mangistau Province, spread to the railway station in the village of Shetpe of the Mangistau region of the same province. The villagers blocked the movement of passenger trains en route Mangyshlak-Aktobe, demanding a halt to the use of weapons against strikers in Zhanaozen. In the report of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the result of the incident was described as follows: “According to preliminary data, the Mangistau regional hospital admitted 12 persons with gunshot wounds, of which one man died.

17.12.2011. In Almaty, on the Square of the Republic, politicians, social leaders and civic activists gathered to protest against the actions of the authorities in Zhanaozen. The participants laid flowers at the Monument of Independence and at the Monument of the Victims of the Events of December 1986. 5 people were arrested, and after writing explanatory statements, they were released.

18.12.2011 – General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan published a list of victims of the Zhanaozen clashes. In the list of those killed in Zhanaozen the names of 11 people were given, while the identity of three other fatalities was still being established. According to official reports, 75 civilians and six police officers were wounded.
18.12.2011 – On the Yntymak square (the central square of the city of Aktau, the center of Mangistau Province), a rally of solidarity with the strikers of Zhanaozen was held.

19.12.2011.  Early winter vacation began in all schools of Zhanaozen.

19.12.2011. The U.S. Department of State expressed its concern about the recent unrest in Zhanaozen. In the statement, Victoria Nuland, a representative of the Department of State, called on the Kazakh authorities “to quickly and fully restore open lines of communication throughout the country.”.

19.12.2011. Kalmuhanbet Kasimov, the Minister of Internal Affairs said criminal prosecution had been initiated against 19 people detained in Zhanaozen who “traveled by car and threatened people who were about to go to work, conducted propaganda work on absenteeism and participation in rallies”.

19.12.2011 – Approximately 2,000 people gathered in Aktau as a sign of protest against actions of the authorities in Zhanaozen.

20.12.2011 – General Secretary of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Bjorn Engesland demanded  an independent investigation into the events in the Mangistau Province be carried out.

20.12.2011 – General Prosecutor’s Office of Kazakhstan published an official list naming 14 persons who died in the Zhanaozen riots.

21.12.2011 – The commandant of the town of Zhanaozen Amanzhol Kabylov reported that according to the latest official figures, during the unrest 14 people were killed and 99 were injured.
22.12.2011 – During a meeting with the activists of the city of Aktau, Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that Kulibaev, the Chairman of the Board of the ‘Samruk Kazyna’ State Fund, was dismissed, Lyazzat Kiinov became the new chairman of the ‘KazMunayGaz’ National Oil and Gas Company, and Alik Aidarbaev was appointed the President of the ‘Razvedka Dobycha ‘KazMunayGaz’ JSC .

22.12.2011 – Changes in the leadership of the Mangistau Province were made. By the decree of the President of Kazakhstan, Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov was appointed the new akim. He replaced Krymbek Kusherbaev who previously held this position.
22.12.2011 – General Prosecutor’s Office has included one more person in the list of fatalities – Bazarbay Zhanabaevich Kenzhebaev, born in 1961.
22.12.2011 – International human rights organisation Human Rights Watch urged the Kazakh authorities to immediately conduct an objective investigation into allegations of possible torture and ill-treatment of persons detained as a result of the unrest in Zhanaozen.

22.12.2011 – In Uralsk, approx. 30 people gathered today in the central square to commemorate the victims of the riots in Zhanaozen.
22.12.2011 – The journalist Vadim Boreiko was dismissed from the position of the deputy editor of the newspaper ‘Moskovsky Komsomolets in Kazakhstan’. On the 20th of December, 2011 the ‘Respublika’ online portal published his article ‘Certificate of immaturity’, dedicated to the events of the 16th of December in Zhanaozen.

23.12.2011 – Approx. 500 oil workers gathered outside the building of the ‘Karazhanbasmunay’ company (in the city of Aktau), and collected signatures under the statement against their employment in other regions of the country.
23.12.2011 – On the Yntymak square in Aktau several people gathered in order to express their solidarity with the laid-off striking oil workers of Zhanaozen and with their families. The actions have been ongoing since the 18th of December.
23.12.2011 – The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed the government commission, headed by the First Deputy Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeev to identify all the reasons for the dissatisfaction of the ‘OzenMunayGaz’ employees and the inhabitants of Zhanaozen. He gave the commission two weeks to complete this task.
23.12.2012 – The Chairman of the Appeals Board of the Mangistau Province Court Nurserik Sharipov stated that arrest warrants for participating in riots which took place last Friday in Zhanaozen were issued for 16 people.

24.12.2012 — The Department of Internal Affairs of the town of Zhanaozen published a  list of wanted persons – 16 citizens from among the striking oil workers who are allegedly hiding from the police. On the 25th of December, 2011, the people mentioned in the list voluntarily reported to the DIA in person in order to give explanations.
24.12.2012 – In the town of Zhanaozen 16 persons were apprehended. Criminal proceedings were initiated against the detainees under Article 241 section 2 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan (‘participation in mass disorders’). The deed under this article is punishable by imprisonment for a term of three to eight years.

25.12.2011 – The official list of persons who died during the riots in Zhanaozen increased by one person. In the central hospital of Zhanaozen, on the 25th of December at 7:00 a.m. Orazbai Mambetnazarov died (he was born in 1967). Now, in the official list includes 16 fatalities (persons who died during the riots in Zhanaozen).

  1. Kubaydullaev Baibek, born in 1989,
  2. Ayazov Shadiyar Eldzhanovich, born in 1978,
  3. Ongarov Serik Alpysbaevich, born in 1959,
  4. Yusupov Radik Rasulovich, born in 1987,
  5. Turganbaev Amanbek Torekhanovich, born in 1984,
  6. Kusherov Dzhanabergen Dzhaymukhanovich, born in 1979,
  7. Duysekenov Atabergen Khasanovich, born in 1987,
  8. Abdikarimova Zhanar, born in 1974,
  9. Kusherov Rakhat, born in 1995,
  10. Munalbaev Nurlan Duysenbaevich, born in 1982,
  11. Kulkairov Atabay Burebaevich,  born in 1967,
  12. Shupashev Zharas Kaldybekovich, born in 1973,
  13. Dusenbaev Bekeszhan, born in 1953,
  14. Toksanbetov Tulegen Dikhanbaevich, born in 1968,
  15. Kenzhebaev Bazarbai Zhanabaevich, born in 1961,
  16.  Mambetnazarov Orazbai, born in 1967.

26.12.2011 – Zhuldyz Toleuova, a journalist of the ‘Stan-TV’ online portal was ordered to report to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Mangistau Province from where she was later sent to the Prosecutor’s Office in Zhanaozen. According to her words, the reason for the order to report to the Prosecutor’s Office was a video footage captured on the 16th of December in Zhanaozen, in which she allegedly  appeared.

26.12.2011 – The social coalition ‘Khalyk Maidany’ issued a statement in which it called on the candidates for maslikhats, as well as political parties to withdraw from participation in the elections.

27.12.2011 – Independent bloggers Andrew Tsukanov from Karaganda, Dina Baydildaeva from Shymkent and Dmitry Shcholokov from Uralsk, who arrived in the Mangistau Province, reported that they were refused entry to the town of Zhanaozen.
27.12.2011 – A letter was sent to the heads of EU states, the United States and international organisations with demands to summon a meeting of the UN Security Council in order to discuss the situation in Zhanaozen, as well as to freeze all accounts and assets of Nazarbaev and his family. The letter was signed by 54 citizens of Kazakhstan, including Vladimir Kozlov, Zhanbolat Mamay, Mukhtar Ablyazov.

28.12.2011 – Ruslan Simbinov, the manager of the branch of the ‘Alga!’ People’s Party in Astana was arrested.

28.12.2011 – The Fund of Humanitarian Assistance for Oil Workers and the Victims of the Riots in Zhanaozen and Shetpe was established. The Fund is organised by a group of people which includes, among others, Zhanbolat Mamay.
29.12.2011 – The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan stated that during the investigation 40 active participants and organisers of the riots in Zhanaozen were identified. Also, the statement mentions that in Zhanaozen 18 people were arrested, and in Shetpe – 10 people.

29.12.2011 – Oil and Gas Minister Mynbaev announced that Kazakhstan has not reached the planned oil production due to strikes in oil enterprises of the Mangistau Province. “Compared to 2010, it (the volume of production) increased by one percent. Still, we could not reach the planned volume of oil production, and a number of companies reduced their production volumes. Basically – it concerns the companies in Zhanaozen, in fact, there was a reduction there by nearly 15 percent, “- said Mynbaev.

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