Kazakhstan's president on Monday called for an easing of restrictions on peaceful demonstrations, three months after thousands were detained at opposition protests in the authoritarian country.
Kazakh citizens currently need to obtain official permission to hold demonstrations, a legal stipulation that rights groups say gives authorities a veto on the constitutional right to free assembly.
Speaking in parliament, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for improved legislation to allow peaceful rallies.
"If (demonstrations are) peaceful actions that are not aimed at breaking the law and breaching the peace, then it is important to make concessions and give permission to hold demonstrations according to the law," he said in the speech, broadcast to the nation on television.
He added that special areas should be allocated for protests that are in city centres.
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