Protesters plan to gather in Almaty February 5th to denounce the appointment of the new Akim of Almaty. The Akim is the chief authority in the city; the new Akim was appointed January 31st. Protesters will meet at Valikhanov Square from 12:00; attendance estimation are unclear at this time.
The Akim has given permission for the protest to take place, authorities will have tight security measures as the police will be on high alert. Measures such as road closures and movement restrictions will result in localized transport disruptions. Almaty was a focal point of violent protest during a period of nationwide unrest in early January; police will likely act quickly and forcefully to suppress any disobedience or potential violence from demonstrators, including through the use of riot control measures such as tear gas and water cannon. While bystanders are unlikely to be directly targeted in any violence, they would face an indirect threat of physical harm and risk becoming caught up in potential mass detentions.
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