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Posted by admin on 2012/2/12 16:22:00 (823 reads)

Five years after the death of long-time leader Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan is holding elections. The BBC's Rayhan Demytrie asks whether the closed Central Asian nation has changed under its new president, who is assured of a landslide win.

"People will vote for the current president because there is no other choice, other candidates are some minor people," said a young Turkmen student.

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Posted by admin on 2012/2/11 20:18:00 (877 reads)

Reporters Without Borders congratulates President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov in advance on succeeding in his bid to be reelected tomorrow with 90 per cent of the votes.

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Posted by admin on 2012/2/11 9:37:00 (847 reads)

Amnesty International

Independent political parties do not exist in Turkmenistan and independent civil society activists cannot operate openly. Many opposition politicians have been forced into exile. Many of those remaining in the country have faced house arrest, arbitrary detention, imprisonment following unfair trials and torture and ill-treatment.

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Posted by admin on 2012/2/10 11:50:00 (834 reads)

If the president is going to win anyway, why does he feel a need to talk democracy and pluralism?

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Posted by admin on 2011/12/15 17:36:00 (774 reads)

Here's a shocker: a former Turkmen cultural official is criticizing the lack of democracy in Turkmenistan in Ashgabat, i.e. not from exile or abroad, but speaking inside the country -- and publicly, and using his own name. That's extremely rare in Turkmenistan because of the great risks involved.

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Posted by admin on 2011/11/17 8:08:00 (887 reads)

Open letter to German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle

On the eve of German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle’s visit to Turkmenistan tomorrow, Reporters Without Borders and the Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation For Human Rights have sent him a joint letter about the state of freedom of expression in this Central Asian dictatorship.

Dear Foreign Minister Westerwelle,

In view of your visit to Turkmenistan, Reporters Without Borders and the Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights would like to draw your attention to the situation of freedom of information and human rights defenders in this country.

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Posted by admin on 2011/10/17 9:40:00 (887 reads)

The conviction of Turkmen journalist Dovletmyrat Yazguliev has outraged human rights defenders, who say that only if the government is pressured by the international community is there any chance the sentence will be overturned.

Yazguliev, who reported for RFE/RL’s Turkmen service, was given five years in jail on October 5 after a short trial. He was accused of inciting a relative to commit suicide, an allegation that colleagues and activists say was fabricated to punish Yazguliev for his reporting, and more generally as a warning to others.

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Posted by admin on 2011/10/13 21:48:00 (1141 reads)

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov is taking arbitrary behavior to new heights in Turkmenistan, according to a report released October 12 by a US-based watchdog organization. The report paints a disturbing picture of Turkmenistan’s energy sector, alleging that Berdymukhamedov, even more so than his predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov, treats the country’s abundant energy reserves as his personal ATM.

The findings contained in the report, titled The Private Pocket of the President (Berdymukhamedov): Oil, Gas and the Law, have alarming implications for the United States and European Union, both of which have courted Berdymukhamedov in the hopes of getting Ashgabat to do more deals with Western energy firms. Ashgabat is also an important cog in the Northern Distribution Network, a major re-supply corridor for US and NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. Berdymukhamedov’s arbitrary management style heightens the risk of instability in Turkmenistan down the road, according to the report, published by Crude Accountability, an environmental organization that promotes transparency in the global energy sector.

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Posted by admin on 2011/10/5 14:31:00 (1360 reads)

Reporters Without Borders is extremely worried to learn that Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev (Довлетмурад Язгулиев), a reporter for Radio Azatlyk, the Turkmen-language service of Prague-based Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), went on trial yesterday in Ashgabat on a clearly trumped-up charge of encouraging a relative’s suicide attempt.

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Posted by admin on 2011/10/4 14:27:00 (1151 reads)

(WASHINGTON, DC -- October 3, 2011) A stringer for Radio Azatlyk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's (RFE/RL) Turkmen language service, stands trial on Tuesday in a case that RFE/RL believes has been orchestrated by the Turkmen authorities in retaliation for his reporting.

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