Main Menu
Search
Who's Online
1 user(s) are online (1 user(s) are browsing News & Acts)

Members: 0
Guests: 1

more...
Login
Username:

Password:


Lost Password?

Register now!
Posted by admin on 2015/11/4 16:04:00 (1767 reads)

October 28, 2015

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520
Via facsimile and email

Dear Mr. Secretary,

The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to bring to your attention the deteriorating climate for press freedom in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. As you prepare to head to these countries later this week, we ask that you put press freedom on the agenda of your meetings with high-level government officials.
Freedom of the press has steadily worsened in the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia, according to research by CPJ and other international press freedom and human rights groups. In these countries, the media have faced bans on distribution, draconian legislation, and online censorship, and critical journalists and bloggers have been subject to politicized prosecution, violent attacks, murder, and imprisonment.

The voices of critical journalists in these countries have been silenced over the years. Authorities in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan are holding at least six journalists behind bars in relation to their reporting, our research shows. Their cases, which have been independently verified by CPJ, are detailed in a list Journalists imprisoned in CA we are attaching to this letter. Two of them, Muhammad Bekjanov and Yusuf Ruzimuradov, have been jailed in Uzbekistan on anti-state charges since 1999. Another, Kyrgyz journalist Azimjon Askarov, is serving a life term in retaliation for his coverage of official abuses.

All of our findings have been reflected in reports and statements issued by the State Department.

Mr. Secretary, you have staunchly defended and advocated for press freedom during your time as a U.S. Senator and now as U.S. Secretary of State. We urge you to seize this opportunity and stand up for journalists imprisoned in the Central Asian countries. Specifically, we ask that you publicly call on government officials in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to release all journalists imprisoned in relation to their work.

We look forward to your response.
Sincerely,
Joel Simon
CPJ Executive Director

CC List:
Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State
Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
George A. Krol, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan
Sheila Gwaltney, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic
Susan M. Elliott, U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan
Allan Phillip Mustard, U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan
Pamela L. Spratlen, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan


Posted by admin on 2015/11/4 15:58:00 (1685 reads)

Uncovering evidence of mass forced evictions and house demolitions in Turkmenistan

Amnesty International, October 2015

One of the first instances of mass forced evictions in Turkmenistan, reported in the media and dating back to July 2004, related to a settlement of approximately one hundred houses in Keshi district. Media reported that residents were not given any compensation and those who protested were forced to sign a statement undertaking not to express their opinions publicly. At the time, several women and one man were reportedly detained by police, allegedly for approaching the United Nations staff in Turkmenistan for help; it is not clear what happened to them after their arrest. There have been further, regular reports about mass forced evictions in the capital city of Ashgabat since President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov came to power in 2007, following the death of his predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov. However, the scale of 2015 evictions appears to exceed all previous instances.

Read More... | 1199 bytes more | Comments?

Posted by admin on 2015/10/29 8:53:10 (2026 reads)

Turkmenistan: Satellite images reveal how mass forced evictions blight upcoming Asian Games

An estimated 50,000 or more people have been forcibly evicted from their homes as part of a push to “beautify” the capital of Turkmenistan ahead of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Amnesty International revealed today as it published satellite images showing the extent of the devastation.

Read More... | 5267 bytes more | Comments?

Posted by admin on 2015/10/25 5:10:00 (1894 reads)

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances called on States to put on the top of their agenda the eradication of enforced disappearance.

It also urged Governments to address the changing nature of the problem due to new patterns of enforced disappearance, the growing activity of non-state actors and new types of victims.

“We can’t pretend anymore it is just an issue of the past. Enforced disappearances continue to occur while we speak,” the Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Bernard Duhaime, told on Wednesday the UN General Assembly.

“The tragedy of enforced disappearance must be recognized as a modern-day issue in order to develop effective and comprehensive measures for its eradication,” the human rights experts said recalling that, since the beginning of the year, they have been working on over 150 recent cases of enforced disappearances perpetrated all over the world.

“It is unconceivable that, in 2015, we receive new cases of enforced disappearances virtually every day. If we consider that the cases we receive are certainly only the tip of the iceberg, this shows very clearly how grim the situation is,” Mr. Duhaime said.

“This is a clear indication that this heinous practice is still used in a number of countries, with the false and pernicious belief that it is a useful tool to preserve national security and combat terrorism or organized crime.”

“We can’t pretend anymore it does not concern us, that it is not our problem. It is one of the biggest modern tragedies and we need to act now. It must be our common objective and priority”, Mr. Duhaime observed.

The experts of the Working Group also drew attention to the changing forms of modern-day enforced disappearances. Among them, they expressed serious concern about a pattern of ‘short-term’ enforced disappearances.

They also highlighted the pattern of people being disappeared, sometimes on a massive scale, by non-state actors. In some cases these actors, which include paramilitary groups, militias and organized criminal gangs, are operating with the connivance or tolerance of the State.

These new patterns of enforced disappearances and new offenders unfortunately affect new victims. In addition to the political opponents who in the past were the targets of enforced disappearance, today victims include vulnerable people of every sector of the society, including migrants.

The Working Group also noted increasing reports of enforced disappearances occurring in the context of migration and it announced that it will focus on this issue its next report to the Human Rights Council.

“The changing nature of enforced disappearances requires new strategies to counter them. We offer our advisory services to all States to reflect together on how to tackle and hopefully eradicate this heinous phenomenon once and for all,” Mr. Duhaime concluded.

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances: was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives. It endeavours to establish a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the whereabouts of persons who, having disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16636&LangID=E


Posted by admin on 2015/8/12 21:24:00 (2026 reads)

VIENNA, 12 August 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today called on the authorities in Turkmenistan to release journalist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev.

“According to information available to my Office, Nepeskuliev has been detained for more than a month without any charges brought against him,” Mijatović said. “Based on the long-standing and constructive co-operation between the authorities in Turkmenistan and my Office, I call for his release.”

According to reports, Nepeskuliev, a freelance journalist and contributor to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Turkmen Service and Alternative Turkmenistan News, was detained on 7 July and is being held in a temporary detention facility in Turkmenistan’s Balkan Province. Nepeskuliev’s relatives were informed that he has been charged for illegal drug possession but no formal charges have yet been made.

In a letter to the authorities in Turkmenistan on 29 July Mijatović expressed concern that Nepeskuliev’s family is not allowed to meet him and that the journalist has not been provided with legal counsel.

http://www.osce.org/fom/176726


Posted by admin on 2015/8/1 10:29:00 (1904 reads)

Fears for Saparmamed Nepeskuliev’s Health, Safety

(Berlin) – Turkmenistan authorities should immediately release a journalist who had been secretly detained for weeks on seemingly politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said today. Saparmamed Nepeskuliev, about 35, has been denied contact with his lawyer and family members, placing him at grave risk.

Read More... | 4635 bytes more | Comments?

Posted by admin on 2014/6/3 19:42:00 (2300 reads)

Turkmenistani authorities must grant a retrial to an unfairly imprisoned human rights activist who has hours to live following a 14-day dry hunger strike, Amnesty International said today.

Mansur Mingelov has refused all food or drink since 19 May in protest at the 22-year sentence for alleged drug and child pornography offences passed down after an unfair trial. Prison doctors say he is in a critical condition.

The 39-year-old was arrested in 2012 after recording evidence of police torture from detainees from Turkmenistan’s Baloch ethnic community.

“Mansur Mingelov was imprisoned after an unfair trial after daring to expose police human rights violations against an ethnic minority group,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“The Turkmenistani authorities can avert his death by abiding by their obligations and granting Mansur Mingelov a fair trial.”

His conviction was largely based on the testimony of four alleged victims who did not understand the Turkmen language and signed untranslated statements – reportedly under intimidation and threat.

No identification parade was conducted or other evidence collected during the investigation. Mansur Mingelov was not even allowed to be represented by a lawyer of his choice throughout the court procedure.

Mansur Mingelov was first arrested in June 2012, a day after his brother Rustam, in connection with alleged drug offences. Both were allegedly beaten by security services during interrogation.

After his release 15 days later, Mansur lodged complaints about his and his still-detained brother’s ill-treatment. Two police officers were subsequently dismissed.

This experience prompted Mansur to collect evidence of torture and other ill-treatment of other individuals, most of whom were of Baloch origin living in Mary province, south-east Turkmenistan.

These included allegations of law enforcement officers pulling detainees’ scrotums with pliers, using chisels on their bones and subjecting them to electric shocks.

Mansur Mingelov sent the information to the US Embassy in the capital Ashgabat, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Turkmenistan Prosecutor General’s Office.

Mansur was re-arrested on 2 August 2012. Then, on 10 September 2012, he was convicted and sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment on what he alleges to be spurious charges of “involving minors in socially inappropriate actions” and the production and distribution of pornography and drugs.

The case against Mansur Mingelov was plagued by numerous procedural violations, including the fabrication of evidence. Mansur Mingelov says he watched the child pornography used to convict him being uploaded on to his computer by state security officials.

“Rather than persecuting Mansour Mingelov, the Turkmenistani authorities must investigate the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment that he has uncovered and bring to justice any police officers found responsible for abuses,” said Denis Krivosheev.

Mansur Mingelov’s condition has deteriorated significantly since he began his hunger strike and he is now unable to get out of bed.

Last week he rejected attempts by his father to make him drink water, and try to get him to accept an intravenous drip, saying that he would either prove his innocence or die with dignity.

Mansur Mingelov’s complaints to the Supreme Court and other authorities in Turkmenistan have all gone unanswered.

Background

Mansur Mingelov is imprisoned in Seidi, Lebap province in north-eastern Turkmenistan.

Torture and other ill-treatment is widespread in Turkmenistan. Such is the climate of fear that few people dare to report incidents of torture and other ill-treatment that occur in detention, or even talk about it following their release.

In theory, the Constitution of Turkmenistan provides for an independent judicial system, but in practice there are no meaningful appeal procedures and acquittals are rare, if not unheard of, in criminal trials.

http://www.amnesty.org/


Posted by admin on 2014/5/22 17:06:14 (2318 reads)

Brother of Exiled Rights Defender Halted at the Airport

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch joint press release

(Berlin, May 20, 2014) – Turkmenistani authorities have barred the family of one of the country’s most prominent human rights defenders from traveling abroad, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee said today. The Turkmenistani government should immediately end its longstanding practice of banning government critics and their family members from foreign travel, the groups said.

Read More... | 4933 bytes more | Comments?

Posted by admin on 2014/5/19 16:10:22 (2150 reads)

Amnesty International says torture remains widespread in many parts of the world three decades after the adoption of the United Nations' Convention Against Torture.

The human rights watchdog made the statement ahead of its launch on May 13 of «Stop Torture,» a global campaign to combat torture and other ill-treatment.

Amnesty International says many governments are «two-faced» about torture - «prohibiting it in law but facilitating it in practice.»

Read More... | 3788 bytes more | Comments?

Posted by admin on 2014/5/19 16:07:53 (2208 reads)

May 19, 2014 Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN) - Mansur Mingelov (39), a Turkmen national imprisoned for 22 years, went on indefinite ‘dry’ hunger strike in LB/K-11 strict-regime prison colony in the city of Seidi (Lebap province in eastern Turkmenistan). On 19 May he informed the chief of the colony Maj. Batyr Gullyev in writing about his refusal to take food and water. In the statement Mingelov demands an appointment with a representative of the Prosecutor’s office from the department that oversees the legality of court sentences and representatives of the National institute of democracy and human rights under the president of Turkmenistan. Mingelov insists on his innocence and demands the reconsideration of his case and the court decision. If his demands are not fulfilled Mansur Mingelov intends to sew his mouth shut.

Read More... | 4693 bytes more | Comments?

« 1 2 (3) 4 5 6 ... 39 »