A group of Jordanian and Lebanese engineers were reportedly assaulted while working in Kazakhstan on Saturday, captured in various videos circulated on social media. Around 30 employees received medical treatment for injuries from the attacks, but none were in critical condition, according to a Facebook statement from the embassy of Kazakhstan.
The Arab employees, working at the Consolidated Contractors company, were beaten after an engineer posted a video on social media in which he put his hand over a Kazakh woman’s mouth while he was talking on his walkie-talkie, a gesture considered insulting by some locals. He has since apologised in a video released on the Kazakhstani embassy’s Facebook page.
Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein directed the prime minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the Jordanian engineers, according to a Royal Court statement. Jordanian Ambassador Yousef Abdul Ghani visited the employees saying they were “doing well and receiving the proper medical care and attention from the Kazakhstani authorities”.
The engineers are currently in a hotel surrounded by security personnel and the situation has calmed down, said Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi.
Yesterday, the Kazakhstani ambassador met with the head of the Jordan Engineers Association to discuss the assaults. The ambassador noted that work would resume at the site in the coming days and that the government would ensure the full protection of the employees above all.