The United Nations Human Rights Office has demanded an independent inquiry into the deaths of protesters in Kazakhstan last week as this started off nicely but suddenly became deadly.

The United Nations said in a statement released on Tuesday that it wants an inquiry into whether the country's security forces used excessive force on protestors.

Kazakhstan's president says order restored

Large numbers of demonstrators came to the streets in Kazakhstan early last week to show their objection to the relaxation of price limitations on liquefied petroleum gas. The rallies got increasingly violent over the next several days with criminals allegedly taking to the streets with guns and attacking law enforcement officers.

Around 10,000 people were arrested, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) during the march, which Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev denounced as an "attempted coup d'état" on Monday. According to the OHCHR, the death toll has grown to 164, necessitating a rapid, independent, impartial investigation into whether security forces used unnecessary and disproportionate force.

Kazakhstan's president announced last Friday that he had ordered his troops to "shoot to kill without warning" as the protests evolved into violence and looting. Human rights experts from the United Nations have urged Kazakhstani authorities to refrain from using excessive force, including fatal force, against protestors, RT reported.

A horrifying video circulating on social media from the mortuary shows halls loaded with corpse bags, far too many for regular procedure. Many of the bodies had head wounds from direct bullets. Morgues seemed to be dreadful places to visit. Some were waiting in anguish for news they cannot even bear to hear.

Two families stationed at the gates claimed that their members were not even there throughout the protests. Alibek Kaliuly had gone missing while on a business trip to Almaty. His relative claimed he contacted his wife to say he was going shopping and then disappeared. He hadn't even taken his coat because he didn't think he'd be gone long. Last week's unrest in Almaty came out of nowhere and was quickly put down with brutal force. Most will be prosecuted with attending unofficial gatherings, but others may lose access to the minimal privileges they should have due to the vague classification of these events as terrorist operations.

President Tokayev is doing everything he can to reassure the public that peace and order have been restored and that he is paying attention to the concerns of his people. He might be attempting to think outside of the system he inherited and grew up in. Whether or not he succeeds will be determined by the fate of the 10,000 inmates, according to Sky News.

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Russian troops to leave Kazakhstan as protests dwindle

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared on Tuesday that Russian forces sent to Kazakhstan last week amid widespread protests will begin leaving in two days as the rallies and turmoil fade. The troops were dispatched to the Central Asian country last week by the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance made up of six former Soviet governments (CSTO).

Tokayev asked security personnel to assist in quelling protests that began on January 2 over rising fuel costs but swiftly expanded across the country, indicating broader discontent with Kazakhstan's authoritarian government. With hundreds of citizens and law enforcement officials slain, it was the country's worst public disturbance since its independence three decades ago.

On Tuesday, Tokayev appointed a new prime minister and cabinet, maintaining several of the former administration's deputy prime ministers. Kazakhstan's cabinet resigned this week as part of a package of concessions that included a 180-day gasoline price restriction and the removal of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country's former longstanding leader from his key job as chairman of the National Security Council. Alikhan Smailov, Kazakhstan's next prime minister, was formerly the country's finance minister and first deputy prime minister, as per Newsweek.

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