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Posted by admin on 2011/9/30 16:40:00 (1412 reads)

Working Session 8: Democratic elections and electoral observation, Friday, 30 September, 2011
On Turkmen presidential election in February 2012

CIVICUS and the Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights welcomes the intention of Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to democratize the process of presidential elections in Turkmenistan. We welcome his July 2011 invitation to opposition parties living abroad to participate in future elections.

In turn, oppositional political formations and civil society abroad supported the intention of G. Berdimuhamedov and stated their readiness to enter the country and to participate in the elections.

Thus, for the first time since the independence of Turkmenistan, there is a real opportunity to host a normal democratic election.

Under these conditions, CIVICUS and the Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights call on the OSCE and other international organizations and democratic states:

• To support these efforts of Berdimuhamedov and the Turkmen political opposition
• Due to the limited time, to reach out to render practical assistance
• To support the arrival of the political opposition in the country and other civil society representatives living in exile
• To support elections monitoring by civil society

Will Lasky
CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation

Tadzhigul Begmedova
Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Posted by admin on 2011/9/22 19:09:00 (1017 reads)

Five years have passed since the death in prison of journalist and human rights activist Ogulsapar Muradova, the Kazakh Service of Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe reminds us. Yet the Turkmen authorities continue to refuse to permit an independent investigation into the circumstances of her death.

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Posted by admin on 2011/8/26 7:21:00 (1163 reads)

As the Turkmen unveil plans for the next presidential ballot, it is already clear that the election monitoring exercise will be designed and controlled by the state.

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Posted by admin on 2011/7/29 14:55:00 (982 reads)

by Yovshan Annagurban

During March's Norouz celebrations in Tehran, when Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov's received a two-seater airplane from his Iranian counterpart, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Jumageldi Mulkiyev made some odd scenes.

Upon the editor in chief of "Turkmen World's" return from Iran, Mulkiyev was dismissed from his position and put into a psychiatric hospital in Ashgabat. He was then released after eight days.

At the time, 80-year-old pensioner and civic activist Amangelen Shapudakov was already sitting in another psychiatric hospital. Fortunately, thanks to international pressure, he was released after 43 days. According to his account, doctors did not force him to take any medication. But, when he returned home, several elders and the local village leader's father came to his house to tell him to stop criticizing the authorities.

Both cases are demonstrative of a tried and true tactic of the Turkmen regime: sending critics to mental institutions.

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Posted by admin on 2011/7/10 18:46:00 (966 reads)

by Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

People who fled the town of Abadan after the explosion of an arms depot last Thursday are now slowly trickling back, trying to find lost relatives and retrieve belongings from ruins,, an independent emigre news site reports.

Residents have been helping each other cope, offering food and clothing and preparing makeshift camps on the street, but everywhere there are still missiles scattered around from the accident. Unexploded shells and rolls of ammunition are in trees and bushes, on the street, poking from the roofs and walls of homes, and constituting a grave danger for people trying to return. While military people are patrolling the streets and have cordoned off the area of the explosion, they do not seem to be removing the unexploded ordnance. Everywhere there is the stench of burning buildings, still smouldering -- and now dead bodies, not all of which have been removed for fear of further explosives.

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Posted by admin on 2011/6/8 16:40:00 (1330 reads)

by Deirdre Tynan
A United Nations Committee Against Torture report released June 6 rapped Turkmenistan for maintaining a “climate of impunity,” and called on Ashgabat to address systematic human rights abuses as a “matter of urgency.” The report should complicate efforts by the European Union and United States to tighten energy relations with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s regime.

Reports of torture are “numerous and consistent” and “there appears to be a climate of impunity resulting in the lack of meaningful disciplinary action or criminal prosecution against persons of authority accused of [torture],” according to the Committee Against Torture (CAT) report. [Click here to see the full report.]

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Posted by admin on 2011/6/8 16:34:00 (918 reads)

Patrick Griffith,
Sachi Jensen

Leading media representatives and government officials from around the world are gathering in Vilnius, Lithuania today and tomorrow to discuss the safety and freedom of journalists in the region. The meeting, hosted by the Lithuanian chair-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, is focusing on the “role of governments and civil society in protecting journalists” and highlighting “best practices” among OSCE participating states - as such official conferences tend to do.

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Posted by admin on 2011/5/8 17:25:00 (972 reads)

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Ivar Dale, advisor on Central Asian issues at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, was in New York this week to take part in an aptly-titled panel organized by the Open Society Institute, «Human Rights in Turkmenistan: Bleak and Getting Bleaker». (EurasiaNet is funded by Open Society Foundations through its Central Eurasian Project-ed.)

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) has just released a report (in English and Russian) on the Dashoguz Women's Prison Colony in Turkmenistan that provides a rare glimpse into a closed society's even more closed penitentiary system.

The authors of the report cannot be named due to fear of reprisals.

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Posted by admin on 2011/4/28 18:23:00 (985 reads)

BBC News

Turkmenistan is one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world - so why is the EU considering closer economic ties with the Central Asian republic?

For almost four years Selbi Amanklychev did not know where her husband was, what state he was in, or if he was even alive.

All requests for information about Annakurban Amanklychev, a geography teacher turned human rights activist, were ignored by the authorities. His wife was warned not to mention his name in public.

When she finally saw him, it was inside a notorious prison in the desert bordering the Caspian Sea.

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Posted by admin on 2011/4/27 16:09:00 (1221 reads)

Detentions Underscore Unrelenting Repression, Need for Robust EU Response
HRW Press

(New York, April 27, 2011) – Turkmen authorities have detained at least four people since early March, 2011, on what appear to be politically motivated grounds, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests took place in advance of a key visit by the European Parliament, beginning on April 27, 2011, to assess the human rights situation in the country.

“This latest wave of arrests is a chilling reminder of the Turkmen government’s unrelenting repression of any independent voices,” said Veronika Szente Goldston, Europe and Central Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The European Parliament should speak out forcefully against abuses and press for these individuals’ immediate release in the meetings with the Turkmen authorities.”

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