Kazakhstan’s human rights record went from bad to worse last year, according to Human Rights Watch, a group that monitors nations for the treatment of its own citizens.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s record on human rights is so odious, UK rock singer Sting refused to perform there when he was invited, according to the organization.
“Kazakhstan’s human rights record seriously deteriorated in 2012, following violent clashes in December 2011 between police and demonstrators,” according to the group’s year-end report on human rights violations.
Striking oil workers, who work under deplorable conditions in western Kazakhstan, were among the demonstrators. Police fired on the crowd killing 12 while dozens were fined or imprisoned for participating in the peaceful protest. Nazarbayev also severely restricted the freedom to assemble.
Attacks on independent journalists by government goons occurs regularly, the group reported.
Nazarbayev, 71, who serves as president, suspended elections in 2012 in favor of a “popular movement” to declare him president until 2020. It passed overwhelmingly in a referendum tightly controlled by his government.
Activist claim to have “credible allegations of torture, the imprisonment of government critics and tight control over freedom of expression,” according to the UK’s Metro newspaper.
Jennifer Lopez was widely criticized by human rights activists and the media for traveling to Turkmenistan to sing “Happy Birthday” to President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, whose record on human rights abuses equals the Nazarbayev’s. She later apologized.
So far West, 36, has escaped any serious criticism. He entertained guests at the wedding of Nazarbayev’s grandson on Sat. (Aug. 31) at the Hotel Royal Tulip in Almaty, according to gossip site TMZ.
So far West’s reps have not responded to requests for comment. Get all the updates on this breaking news item by following TheImproper on twitter.