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Newsline: Estonian top diplomat voices concern over Kazakhstan events

Foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets has expressed her concern over the recent events in Kazakhstan, adding she hopes order will be restored in that country by the authorities, while restoring the fundamental freedoms of protestors. Speaking at the government’s regular Thursday press conference, Liimets said: “What we are seeing, unfortunately, is a violation of both freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, where protesters have been detained.” “Social media channels have been closed, the internet has been offline. The public is not being guaranteed the opportunity to express their views. The situation is very turbulent,” the foreign minister went on. “Politically, we are monitoring the situation with concern and, of course, we consider it important that all fundamental freedoms are respected in the country – freedom of assembly, freedom of expression both online and offline,” she added. (https://news.err.ee/1608457307/foreign-minister-kazakhstan-events-violation-of-fundamental-freedoms) The protests are the result of dissatisfaction, ostensibly due to rising fuel prices, but also the result of more deep-seated tensions in Kazakh society, Liimets said. Also appearing at Thursday’s press conference, defense minister Kalle Laanet said that the Russian Federation, whose military has been involved in violent clashes on the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, has been creating the narrative that the west is behind the discord.

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