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Posted by admin on 2015/10/25 5:10:00 (2044 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.

Posted by admin on 2015/8/12 21:24:00 (2148 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.

Posted by admin on 2015/8/1 10:29:00 (2013 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.

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Posted by admin on 2014/6/3 19:42:00 (2393 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.


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.

Posted by admin on 2014/5/22 17:06:14 (2427 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.

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Posted by admin on 2014/5/19 16:10:22 (2254 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.»

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Posted by admin on 2014/5/19 16:07:53 (2334 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.

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Posted by admin on 2014/4/26 19:44:22 (2383 reads)

Urgent Action

A Turkmen citizen of Baloch origin faces imminent transfer to Ovadan-Depe prison in Turkmenistan. During his previous time at the prison he was regularly beaten.

Mansur Mingelov, 39, is serving 22 year sentence in LBK/11 prison in Seidi, Lebap province in north-eastern Turkmenistan. Mansur Mingelov was first arrested in connection to a criminal case involving his brother on 6 June 2012, a day after his brother was arrested. On 6 June Mansur Mingelov was allegedly beaten by officers of the State Service for Security Protection of Healthy Society of Turkmenistan (former State Drug Control Service). He also witnessed his brother being beaten by security services during interrogation. They were both sentenced after an unfair trial on 10 September 2012 on charges of involving minors in socially inappropriate actions, production and distribution of pornography, contraband, production or distribution of drugs under articles 156,164, 254 and 292 of the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan.

According to a confidential source, Mansur Mingelov denies all charges and maintains his innocence. He reports that he only saw his state-appointed lawyer twice, once when they first met and then during the trial itself. During the investigation and trial he was not allowed to call his relatives nor change his lawyer. After his arrest, Mansur Mingelov was forcibly moved to a regional drug rehabilitation centre and kept there for 15 days, and released on 22 June 2012. He then lodged complaints about his brother’s torture and ill-treatment with the Prosecutor General’s Office and the President of Turkmenistan. Two police officers were subsequently dismissed. From 25 June and up until 2 August 2012, when Mansur Mingelov was arrested again, he collected evidence of torture and ill-treatment from other individuals, most of whom were of Baloch origin living in Mary province, south-east Turkmenistan.

The terms of Mansur Mingelov’s sentence stipulate that he serves one year in a high security prison. He served this in the high security prison Ovadan-Depe, and was transferred on 6 August 2013 to a prison in Seidi. He was reportedly subjected to regular beatings in Ovadan-Depe prison. On 11 April prison guards informed Mansur Mingelov to be prepared for another transfer to Ovadan-Depe prison, which was not part of the original sentence.

Please write immediately in Turkmen, Russian, English or your own language:

— Urging the authorities not to transfer Mansur Mingelov to Ovadan-Depe prison;

— Calling on the authorities to instigate a prompt retrial of Mansur Mingelov in line with international fair trial standards, including allowing him access to a lawyer of his choice;

— Urging the authorities to initiate a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into all allegations of torture and that any State Drug Control Service officers found responsible for torture and/or ill-treatment are brought to justice;

— Calling on the authorities to respect their obligations under international human rights law, including under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to ensure that no persons is subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

Please send appeals before 4 May 2014 to:

Prosecutor General Yaranmyrat Yazmyradov
Ul. 2005 (Seidi) 4, 744000 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Salutation: Prosecutor General

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov
Presidential Palace, 744000 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Fax: +993 12 93 5112 (please keep trying between 10-1500 GMT)
Salutation: Dear President

And copies to:

Minister of Interior Isgender Mulikov
Ul. 2033 (pr. Mahtumkuli) 85, 744000 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Fax: +993 12 39 1944 (please keep trying between 10 — 1500 GMT)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

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Posted by admin on 2014/3/14 11:09:00 (2346 reads)

Enemies of the Internet 2014: entities at the heart of censorship and surveillance

This year’s “Enemies of the Internet” report, which Reporters Without Borders publishes every year on World Day Against Cyber-Censorship (12 March), spotlights the government units and agencies that implement online censorship and surveillance.

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Posted by admin on 2014/2/10 14:37:00 (2317 reads)

Turkmenistan has been called an isolationist state and a "hermit kingdom" for many reasons, but one reason is surely the difficulty of getting objective information from the country.

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