November 22, 2019 / 6:32 AM / 14 days ago

Kazakh president sacks mayor after outrage over school latrine rape

ALMATY (Reuters) - Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has sacked the mayor of the southern city of Taraz after a 12-year-old student was raped in a school latrine this month, prompting public outrage over officials’ negligence and poor education funding.

The incident highlighted “systemic shortcomings” in the muncipal government’s work, Tokayev wrote on Twitter late on Thursday, announcing his order to sack mayor Kairat Dosayev who had run the city of 360,000 since April.

Police have detained a 38-year-old suspected rapist who appeared on the school’s CCTV cameras and has been identified by the victim - but was apparently ignored by staff as he hung around the school in broad daylight.

Meanwhile, commentators criticised the authorities for failing to ensure the school’s safety and to equip it - and 30% of schools in the oil-rich nation still use outdoor latrines - with modern, indoor toilets.

“The country needs a toilet revolution!” wrote Mukhtar Taizhan, a political activist and a member of a public advisory council established by Tokayev in July.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov

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