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Posted by admin on 2021/12/6 20:35:00 (140 reads)

More than 50 non-governmental organizations from many countries have called on OSCE participating States to invoke OSCE human dimension mechanisms with respect to Turkmenistan.

On December 1, in the framework of the Parallel OSCE Civil Society Conference organized by the Civic Solidarity Platform and held in Stockholm on the eve of the OSCE Foreign Ministers' Meeting, an appeal by non-governmental organizations to OSCE participating States regarding the human rights situation in Turkmenistan was adopted.

The appeal states that the year 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of mass repression in Turkmenistan. Repression affected a large number of people. It was then that the criminal practice of enforced disappearances in prisons started, which serves not only as punishment for a particular convict, but also a means of intimidating the whole society.

Enforced disappearances did not stop when the incumbent President Berdymukhamedov came to power and continue to the present. The Prove They Are Alive! campaign has documented 162 cases of disappearances in Turkmenistan’s prisons since 2002. In the context of severe suppression of civil liberties and denial of access to the country for foreign human rights organisations and international observers, this list is inevitably incomplete. The total number of victims is estimated at several hundred. As in the past, the government of Turkmenistan refuses to disclose any information about the vast majority of the cases from the list of the disappeared to their relatives and the international community. It continues to ignore relevant decisions by inter-governmental bodies and has avoided taking any significant steps to end this gross violation of human rights, instead simulating an ineffective “dialogue” with international organisations on this issue.

Signatories of the appeal assert that the scale of continued repression in Turkmenistan requires an adequate reaction. They call on concerned states and intergovernmental organisations to renew strong and consistent international pressure on the government of Turkmenistan. The international community must actively insist that Turkmenistan stop the practice of enforced disappearances; provide information on the fate and whereabouts of all people on the list of the disappeared to their families and international organisations without any further delay; immediately release all individuals whose prison terms have expired; allow international observers into prisons, including the infamous Ovadan Depe; permit family visits, medical care, and legal assistance to those in prison; and comply with international human rights standards regarding enforced disappearance and torture.

The appeal calls on OSCE participating States to invoke the OSCE human dimension mechanisms with respect to Turkmenistan, namely the Vienna and the Moscow mechanisms. Taking this step on the 20th anniversary of the beginning of mass repression in 2022 would have a powerful symbolic meaning. Eradicating enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan is important for the restoration of justice for the victims, it is also important for their relatives and loved ones, for the entire society of Turkmenistan, and for prevention of repression in the future.

As of now, the appeal has been signed by more than 50 NGOs from various countries. Collection of signatures continues at

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Posted by admin on 2021/11/21 12:29:00 (199 reads)

Country’s Political Prisoners

The Lawmakers Sent A Letter Advocating For The Release Of Civil Rights Activists

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with U.S. Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-7), today sent a letter to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to urge him to release detained political prisoners, including journalist Nurgeldi Halykov, physician Dr. Khursanai Ismatullaeva, and activist Gulgeldy Annaniyazov.

“We write with interest as Turkmenistan pursues an ambitious agenda under your administration to join international institutions, including the WTO, and highlight its economy to the world. Such welcome efforts to participate further in the global economy will undoubtedly be strengthened by further attention to your country’s human rights record,” the lawmakers wrote.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence, and next year the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States. As our two countries continue to cooperate on shared interests such as trade and Central Asian security – we believe that resolution of these cases would further strengthen our larger relationship,” they concluded.

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Posted by admin on 2021/11/18 21:19:00 (224 reads)

Azat Isakov, a Presumed Victim of Enforced Disappearance by Turkmen Security Services

“The police are here. If they find me, they’ll take me in. I’ve gone into hiding.” These are the last words Turkmen human rights activist, Chemen Ore, heard from Azat Isakov, a dissident from Turkmenistan who had been living in Russia for about six years. Ore, who lives in exile in Nepal, told Human Rights Watch that Isakov texted her this message from Russia on October 20. He’s been missing ever since.

In a letter, Russia’s Interior Ministry informed Ore that Isakov flew from Moscow to Turkmenabad on October 22. But according to multiple sources, Isakov had lost his passport and had repeatedly said he had no desire to return to Turkmenistan.

It’s easy to understand why. Turkmenistan’s extraordinarily repressive government severely punishes all dissent, and there are many grim examples of people being imprisoned for daring to criticize the authorities. Isakov began publicly criticizing the Turkmen government in 2020, after its gross mishandling of the aftermath of a disastrous hurricane in his home region.

Turkmen security services repeatedly threatened Isakov’s family, pressuring them to get him to stop his activism and even confiscating their phones. Several days after the confiscation, a pro-government YouTube channel stated that authorities knew where he was living in Russia.

Ore says she has learned through informal channels that Isakov is in the Turkmen security services’ custody but has had no further information from these sources in the past three days.

There are many unanswered questions around Isakov’s removal from Russia to Turkmenistan, but there is no reason to doubt that he is now in Turkmen detention, yet another victim of an enforced disappearance. The nature of enforced disappearances means information about his detention and fate are being concealed.

There is also no doubt that Isakov is at dire risk of torture and other abuses, which are widespread in Turkmenistan’s detention centers. Dozens of people who have fallen afoul of Turkmenistan’s government remain victims of enforced disappearance, some for almost 19 years.

Turkmen authorities should immediately confirm Isakov’s whereabouts and free him. The Biden administration and the European Union, both of which hold annual human rights dialogues with the Turkmen government, should urge the same.

Posted by admin on 2021/11/2 19:30:00 (895 reads)


Statement by non-governmental organizations

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Posted by admin on 2021/10/13 17:25:00 (412 reads)

Turkmenistan: Freedom Now Petitions UN on Behalf of Lawyer Pygamberdy Allaberdyev

On October 12, 2021, Freedom Now and the international law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP filed a petition with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Turkmen lawyer Pygamberdy Allaberdyev. The petition argues that Turkmenistan’s detention of Allaberdyev is related to the legitimate exercise of his right to freedom of expression, a direct violation of his rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Pygamberdy Allaberdyev sought to improve his country and in response Turkmenistan used fabricated and trumped-up charges to wrongfully imprison him,” said Freedom Now Legal Officer Adam Lhedmat. “We are confident that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will conclude that his fundamental human rights have been violated and that he should be released immediately.”

Prior to his arrest, Allaberdyev worked for the Nebitdagneft department of the Ministry of Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan. In the months leading up to his arrest, he began to make his views public.

On September 5, 2020, Allaberdyev was arrested on hooliganism charges resulting from an incident at a grocery store where he was physically attacked by an unidentified individual. Despite the fact that he did not start the altercation, Allaberdyev was charged, while his assailant was set free. Allaberdiyv’s arrest occurred in the lead-up to a pro-democracy rally that he was organizing. While interrogating Allaberdyev, authorities focused their questions on his connections with activists associated with the rally rather than on the incident at the grocery store.

On September 29, 2020, Allaberdyev was convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment for hooliganism. The judgment was handed down after a two-hour trial that was closed to the public. Allaberdyev was not represented by a lawyer during the proceedings as his original lawyer withdrew from the case after apparent government pressure. Since his conviction, Allaberdyev has been held incommunicado since his initial arrest. Prison authorities have consistently denied requests for his family to contact him.

Posted by admin on 2021/9/21 11:35:00 (866 reads)

Dear Dr Kluge,

As representatives of Turkmenistan’s civil society, we ask you to consider this letter an open appeal to you personally and to your organization, and very much hope you will respond.

We express our serious concern that the government of Turkmenistan is still denying the presence of COVID-19 in the country and concealing the scale of morbidity and mortality.

According to figures from unofficial sources, mainly health workers, coronavirus is circulating in Turkmenistan and another wave of infections is now under way. We know the names of dozens of people who had all the symptoms of COVID-19 and are thought to have died as a consequence of coronavirus. We are convinced that the number of deaths from COVID-19 is far higher, but it is not possible to confirm the cause of death as coronavirus, as relatives and health workers are afraid to share information. There are also no objective conclusions about the patients’ cause of death.

But despite the high number of hospitalizations of citizens diagnosed with “pneumonia”, the authorities of Turkmenistan still do not acknowledge the presence of COVID-19. Nevertheless, they demand that citizens wear masks and observe social distancing and hygiene norms. When these measures were introduced in 2020, the Turkmen authorities said they were to deal with dust carried by the wind from the dried-up bed of the Aral Sea. The governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, in which countries the sea is located, have not reported and are not reporting any “deadly dust from the Aral Sea.” There is no information whatsoever in Turkmenistan’s media about COVID-19 and the risks to Turkmen citizens posed by the possibility of infection, illness and death from coronavirus.

We are convinced that it is the state bodies’ denial since 2020 of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan and the ban on the free dissemination and receipt of information in our country that have resulted in public ignorance about the imminent threat. These are some of the main reasons for the growing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

According to reports from numerous sources, hospitals are overflowing in the capital and the regions. Most people cannot afford to stay in hospital. People who do not have the means to pay are sent away with instructions for treatment at home. Local authorities are allocating land for the expansion of cemeteries or creation of new ones.

Turkish specialists confirmed that the death in July 2020 in Ashgabat of an employee of the Turkish embassy, Kemal Uckun, was related to COVID-19. Almost all foreign diplomatic representations in Turkmenistan temporarily suspended work and stopped receiving citizens in person, which is indirect confirmation that coronavirus is widespread in the country.

In July 2020, after lengthy coordination with the Turkmen government, WHO representatives were allowed into the country. But Turkmenistan’s authorities deliberately arranged a program for the WHO that unfortunately did not enable them to draw objective conclusions about the true COVID-19 situation in the country. We would also like to remind you that, despite the promise made to the WHO in 2020, the government of Turkmenistan has still not provided samples from patients in Turkmenistan for testing in independent laboratories.

Dr Kluge, the WHO is part of an authoritative international organization and we have no doubt that you and your colleagues are quite well informed about what is happening in Turkmenistan in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the WHO has a permanent office in our country.

We consider it essential for the WHO to make an official, public appeal to Turkmenistan in order to honor the following principles set out in the preamble to the WHO Constitution:

· “Governments have a responsibility for the health of their peoples which can be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures.”

· “Informed opinion and active co-operation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of the health of the people.”

We consider it essential for the WHO to make an official, public appeal to the government of Turkmenistan to fulfill their promise on the testing of samples from patients in Turkmenistan in independent laboratories. This would be an important step towards Turkmenistan acknowledging the circulation of the COVID-19 pandemic on its territory.

We are convinced that this is the only way to begin an effective fight against COVID-19 in our country and, using international help organized by the WHO, to save the lives of thousands of our compatriots.

We look forward to hearing your views and an explanation of the WHO position on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Tajigul Begmedova, Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights,

Vyacheslav Mamedov, Democratic Civil Union of Turkmenistan,

Timur Misrikhanov, Turkmenistan Independent Lawyers Association (TILA),

Ruslan Myatiev, Turkmen.News,

Farid Tukhbatullin, Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights,

Posted by admin on 2021/6/22 13:08:00 (693 reads)

Over the past year, the Turkmenistani government has widened its crackdown on dissent in response to a surge in anti-government criticism on social media and the emergence of an anti-government protest movement abroad. A new briefing paper published by International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) and Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR) documents this crackdown and the systematic violations of the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly seen in the Central Asian country.

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Posted by admin on 2021/2/17 14:17:00 (957 reads)

According to various sources, Suleiman Tursunbaev, born in 2006, who attended sports school No. 33 in the village of Babarap, in Akhal Veleyat, passed away after we was brutally beaten by a group of grown sportsmen. He died on January 27 and was buried on January 28th.

The incident took place after Suleiman won a local judo competition on January 20th. Media sources report that the organizers of the competition demanded of Suleiman’s trainer—ahead of time—that Suleiman should throw the fight and let his opponent win. S. Tursunbaev won, but after the match, the trainer and the boy were brutally beaten. Precisely where and when this occurred is being verified.

The sportsman’s parents, Ziyada Khodzhakova and Matyakub Tursunbaev, who live in the village of Akkal, Kunyaurgen raion, Dashoguz oblast, turned to the authorities and to the public on YouTube for help in restoring justice.

Apparently, Shemshat Orazgeldyev, the deputy director of School No. 33 where Suleiman studied, closed his eyes to numerous complaints by Tursunbaev that his classmates systematically beat him, broke his bed several times, and bullied him in various ways.

The incident took place in Akhal veleyat. The beaten boy was found on the street, half-unconscious, and taken to the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, they refused to treat him there, saying that he did not have Ashgabat registration papers.

Because of the quarantine, movement inside Turkmenistan is limited. Therefore, Suleiman’s relatives had to take him by car, and on January 21, they drove him to Koneurgench raion, Dashoguz oblast, which is 530 kilometers from the capital. He was admitted to the local hospital on January 22. There numerous injuries to his genitals and abdominal organs were noted; his teeth had been knocked out. His relatives were shocked that the doctors did not conduct a complete examination. For example, they did not take x-rays.

According to witnesses, before he died, the boy told his mother that he was beaten by “grown men, pumped-up athletes, because he did not throw the match as they had demanded before the competition. And he did not tell anyone because they threatened to kill his family as well.”

Despite all efforts by the local doctor, Suleiman died on January 27. The death certificate was signed by Dr. Murad Kochmetor of the Koneurgench hospital. The parents believe that their son was not saved because he was not provided with timely medical assistance and vital time was lost.

Today we were informed that a criminal case has been opened into the death of Suleiman Tursunbaev, led by police investigator Ovez Amanov in the city of Geok-Depe. During a phone call, a witness stated, "The case was just opened; I will provide details to the relatives later.”

The announcement of the death of the 14-year-old teenager has caused a storm of indignation among the Turkmen diaspora. In an effort to restrict further dissemination of details of Suleiman’s death, the authorities isolated his family from those who came to the commemoration to share their condolences. In the village of Akkal, near the Tursunbaev’s house, police have set up a post. According to, “Suleiman’s mother, Ziyada Khodzhakova, was taken to Ashgabat. It is unknown who took her; the woman has not yet returned home.”

According to unconfirmed sources, relatives of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mammetkhan Chakyev, and of the son of the President of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdymukhamedov, took part in the beating.

In connection with the death of Suleiman Tursunbaev, Turkmen activists in the US are planning a demonstration in front of the United Nations, demanding that Ashgabat “conduct an investigation and explain who was Suleiman’s opponent in the competition, what relationship he has to those who so brutally attacked the teenager, and who is behind this.”

Turkmen Helsinki Fund for Human Rights

Posted by admin on 2021/2/1 12:02:00 (1042 reads)

Following the well-known events that occurred in Russia on January 23, Ashgabat is taking preventative measures for the possibility of unrest in Turkmenistan. We have been informed that Ashgabat sent a request to Russia to expel all Turkmens who participated in the demonstrations that took place all over the Russian Federation on January 23, 2021. That it is to say, if there are Turkmen citizens among those who were arrested, the Russian authorities should send them to Turkmenistan, regardless of the law, their human rights, and COVID-19. There is even an airline, “S-7,” which would transport them to Turkmenistan.

According to an inside source, the authorities are afraid that Turkmens who participated in the demonstrations will gain experience with this type of activity, and, upon their return, could pose a threat to the authoritarian Turkmen regime.

Furthermore, it is reported that the more active “returnees” should be labeled “terrorists” and punished severely in order to frighten the population and discourage them from asserting their rights.

We remind our readers that on January 23, 2021 protests were held in over 100 cities in Russia in support of Aleksey Navalny, who was arrested immediately upon his return from Germany, where he underwent medical treatment.

Our compatriots are asking for detailed information about the results of the protests. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that in Moscow 4,000 people attended the protests, but Reuters counted 40,000. The number of those detained throughout all of Russia is 3,324; 1,320 in Moscow and 490 in St. Petersburg. There is information that 96 individuals were detained in Novosibirsk, 92 in Voronezh, and 90 in Nizhniy Novgorod, etc.

It is unknown whether any of our compatriots are among them. Regardless, we hope that Russia will not send a single person to the one of the most authoritarian countries in the world—Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

Posted by admin on 2021/1/20 10:50:00 (1008 reads)


In 2020, Turkmenistan experienced cascading social and economic crises as the government recklessly denied and mismanaged the Covid-19 epidemic within the country.

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