20 detained at protests in Kazakhstan

March 22, 2019
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In this video grab from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty stream video, taken on Thursday, March 21, 2019, police officers detain a small group of people who were protesting against the renaming of the capital city, in central Astana, Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has renamed its capital city Astana, now calling it Nursultan, to honour outgoing President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who unexpectedly resigned on Tuesday. (Serhii Nuzhnenko/Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Media reports say that more two dozen people have been detained in Kazakhstan’s capital over a proposed name change.

The parliament in this Central Asian nation voted earlier this week to change the name of the capital Astana to Nursultan after the outgoing long-time president. The new president will have to sign the decree to make the change official.

The Interfax news agency and other local media reported on Friday that some 20 people have been detained in the commercial capital Almaty to protest the name change. More people were detained in Astana and Almaty on Thursday amid scuffles with police.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev abruptly resigned on Tuesday after nearly 30 years at the helm of this oil-rich country.

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