By Adam Taylor
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, autocratic ruler of the post-Soviet country for 20 years, has reportedly shut down large portions of his country’s mobile and internet networks in a bid to quell recent rioting, TechEye reports.
A few hundred workers are thought to have been involved in a long dispute over wages — a large number for a country that has long existed without any visible dissent.
As protests gathered steam in surrounding towns over the weekend, Nazarbayev was able to implement emergency rule in Zhananozen, restricting journalists movement in out and out of the city, according to Eurasianet, and allegedly blocking access to sites such as Twitter.
TechEye reports that the government was also able to switch off mobile phone networks and internet connections in Zhanaozen to hinder organization. The government denies this and alleges that the networks went out due to damages caused by rioters.
Authorities now insist that the uprisings in Zhanaozen, a city of 90,000, have been calmed.