Social Media, Technology and Peacebuilding Policy Brief No.140 - November, 2022 • By Raushan Zhandayeva and Rachael Rosenberg
Policy Brief No.140: Kazakhstan’s Bloody January: Digital
Repression on the “New Silk Road”
Image: Fly Of Swallow Studio/Shutterstock.com
This Policy Brief explores the January 2022 Kazakhstan government shut down of internet access for several days while enacting a violent crackdown on initially peaceful protests which were triggered by hikes in fuel prices. It examines Kazakhstan’s internet and media landscape, the (re)actions of civil society and the state, and the factors that set the stage for this extreme act of digital repression, which created a disturbing precedent for the country and the Eurasia region more broadly. The paper concludes by briefly exploring the potential implications for Kazakhstan’s governance, economic development, and collective memory nearly a year on from the events.