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Posted by admin on 2011/3/12 19:37:00 (1090 reads)

INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST CYBER-CENSORSHIP

IN 2011, TURKMENISTAN IS STILL AN "ENEMY OF THE INTERNET"

The Turkmen government has curbed the very recent Internet growth and continues to practice widespread censorship. Its monopolistic takeover of the cell telephone market has allowed it to enhance its control over communications. The international community seems more determined to make concessions than to exert any real pressure on this country, in view of its vast energy and strategic potential.

Prohibitive costs of Internet access

Although President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow finally allowed Turkmen to access the Web in 2008, many technical and financial barriers still remain. Internet access is possible, but its generalised use is not encouraged. Apart from the few businesses and foreign embassies which can access the Worldwide Web, the few other Internet users can only access an ultra-censored version of the Internet nicknamed “the Turkmenet.” Very strict filtering is focusing on opposition Turkmen-language publications, targeting primarily local users and potential dissidents, mainly for linguistic reasons. Opposition websites such as XpoHo.tm and Gundogar, and regional news sites covering Central Asia such as ferghana.ru and eurasianet, are blocked. YouTube and LiveJournal were rendered inaccessible late in 2009 to prevent Turkmen from blogging or sending videos abroad. Facebook and Twitter are also blocked.

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Posted by admin on 2011/2/23 11:19:00 (1219 reads)

A new report from the International Crisis Group, ICG, on the gradual collapse of Central Asia’s infrastructure has provoked a debate about the specific challenges facing closed states like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

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Posted by admin on 2011/2/16 10:17:00 (1034 reads)

Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter on Friday to Turkmenistan’s President about threats and intimidation against Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalists. Reporters associated with RFE/RL and their families have faced imprisonment, interrogation, been dismissed from jobs, and prevented from traveling abroad.

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Posted by admin on 2011/2/4 17:08:00 (946 reads)

On January 20, at the meeting with parliament (Medjlis) members, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov pointed at the need of expedition of development and adoption of law “On political parties”, “unification” of the principles of establishment of elected institutions of civil society and called the members of parliament for more active protection of rights and liberties of citizens.

Such seemingly good intents as a matter of fact have nothing in common with the existing reality.

Today there is only one party called “democratic” that is formally functioning in the country, which contains the community of officials and other like-minded persons of the president including him.

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Posted by admin on 2011/1/28 13:41:00 (900 reads)

By Jacqueline Hale
Why it is a strategic mistake for the EU to leave human rights out of energy talks with Turkmenistan and other potential suppliers.
The visit paid by the European Commission's president, José Manuel Barroso, and its energy commissioner, Günther Oettinger, to energy-rich Turkmenistan on 15 January is the clearest signal yet of the European Union's desire to buy gas from a closed country famed for the eccentricities of its leaders and its abysmal human-rights record.

Recent trends suggest it is unlikely that Turkmenistan's consistent failure to meet its own international human-rights obligations and uphold the rule of law featured in any substantive way (the European commissioners issued no statement after the visit).

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Posted by admin on 2011/1/25 7:59:00 (953 reads)

Turkmenistan
In 2010 the Turkmenistan government continued a return to the repressive methods of a previous era. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has ruled Turkmenistan for nearly four years, since the 2006 death of dictator Saparmurad Niazov. During his first two years in office, Berdymukhamedov began to reverse some of Niazov's most ruinous social policies. But then his course appeared to reverse. The government increasingly repressed NGOs and Turkmen activists, and prevented citizens from leaving the country; indeed freedom of movement sharply declined in 2009 and 2010. Instead of continuing needed reforms in education in 2010, the government introduced burdensome requirements for students seeking to travel abroad for university, and allowed "Ruhnama" (The Book of the Soul), Niazov's propaganda book, to remain a subject in university entrance exams. Instead of expanding access to the internet and other media, the government blocked websites and banned the import of some printed materials. Prisons remained closed to the outside for observation. Turkmenistan continued to expand relations with foreign governments and international organizations, but with no meaningful outcomes for human rights.

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Posted by admin on 2011/1/15 20:15:00 (1077 reads)

Dear President Barroso,

Reporters Without Borders, an international organization that defends media freedom, would like to refer you to the press freedom situation in Turkmenistan as you are about to visit that country. In particular, we would like to draw your attention to the plight of two imprisoned journalists and human rights activists, Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khadjiyev.
They were arrested together with Ogulsapar Muradova for helping to make a documentary about Turkmenistan for “Envoyé spécial,” a current affairs programme broadcast by the French state-owned TV station France 2. They also gathered information about the human rights situation for the Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation. Ms. Muradova died in detention in September 2006 as a result of mistreatment.

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Posted by admin on 2011/1/14 8:19:00 (952 reads)

The Story Behind the Story gives an insight into the work that goes into IWPR articles and the challenges faced by our trainees at every stage of the editorial process.
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It was an important visit as relations between the two states have been difficult in the past. This had inevitably affected communities along the border, with locals facing tight travel restrictions. For instance, Uzbeks and Turkmen living on one side can visit relatives on the other only once a month, for three days at a time.

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Posted by admin on 2011/1/12 8:36:00 (1013 reads)

NBCentralAsia observers concur with a new ranking that lists Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan among the world’s least democratic states.

In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2010, published at the end of the year, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were fourth and third lowest-placed, respectively, with only Chad and North Korea below them on a list of 167 states.

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Posted by admin on 2010/12/26 19:35:00 (884 reads)

In late December, Turkmenistan is due to submit a regular report to the United Nations on how it is meeting its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW. Experts on women’s rights say the reality is a long way from the appearance of equality the country presents.

As well as ratifying CEDAW in 1996, Turkmenistan has a constitution and legislation that guarantee equal rights for both men and women and prohibits discrimination. Women occupy many jobs in healthcare, education and other state institutions, and hold a fifth of the seats in parliament. There are also a number of women's organisations, although none is independent of the authorities.

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