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Posted by admin on 2012/2/10 11:50:00 (873 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 (818 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 (930 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 (915 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 (1167 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 (1396 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 (1184 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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Posted by admin on 2011/9/30 16:40:00 (1441 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 (1055 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 (1200 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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