Kazakhstan updates tally of protest arrests to nearly 4,000

US & World

Kazakh police detain demonstrators during an anti-government protest during the presidential elections in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Sunday, June 9, 2019. Voters in Kazakhstan are choosing a successor to the president who had led the Central Asian country since independence from the Soviet Union, with a longtime loyalist expected to win easily. (AP Photo)

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MOSCOW (AP) — Kazakhstan’s interior minister has updated the tally of arrests during protests before and after the presidential election earlier this month to nearly 4,000 people.

Erlan Turgumbayev said in comments carried by local media Tuesday that out of the total, nearly 700 were sentenced to several days of arrest.

Sizeable protests took place in Kazakhstan on election day on June 9 and several days after. Police dispersed the demonstrations with force. Earlier official figures put the number of detentions at under 1,000.

The protesters have been rallying against what they see as an orchestrated handover of power from the outgoing president in this Central Asian nation. The show of public discontent, although relatively small in numbers, is rare for Kazakhstan where opposition is restricted.

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