Kazakh police detain demonstrators protesting against Astana renaming
YEREVAN, MARCH 21, ARMENPRESS. Kazakh police have detained protesters who were demonstrating outside a government headquarters in Astana against the renaming of the capital city to Nursultan, eyewitnesses told Interfax.
The protest was very small in numbers, reaching around 20 people, according to the report.
Approximately 30 minutes into the demonstration, police officers and masked agents arrested the protesters and took them away in a bus. Nearly all demonstrators were arrested.
Earlier locals were petitioning online against the change of the capital’s name.
Kazakhstan’s lawmakers have adopted Constitutional amendments whereby the capital city of Astana will be renamed to Nursultan, in honor of First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned earlier after 30 years in office.
“A historic decision has been adopted,” Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament Nurlan Nigmatulin said, according to RIA Novosti.
Speaker of the Upper House, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, was sworn in as the new president after Nazarbayev’s resignation. He was the one who proposed renaming the capital city.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan