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Posted by admin on 2007/1/12 8:19:00 (964 reads)

Joint statement by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), the Turkmenistan Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR) and the Human Rights Centre ”Memorial”

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Posted by admin on 2007/1/8 7:49:00 (908 reads)

Oppositionsparteien sind in Turkmenistan nicht zugelassen, und außer den Vereinten Nationen und der OSZE haben sich auch alle internationalen Organisationen aus der zentralasiatischen Republik zurückgezogen.

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Posted by admin on 2007/1/5 15:21:00 (834 reads)


AI Index: EUR 61/001/2007

Fear for safety/possible prisoner of conscience


Andrei Zatoka (m), aged 50, environmental activist

Environmental activist Andrei Zatoka was detained on 17 December, as he was traveling to meet fellow activists, and is believed to be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. There are allegations that he was targeted to punish him for his peaceful work as an environmental activist.

Andrei Zatoka was arrested by local police at the airport at his home town of Dashoguz, near the border with Uzbekistan. He had been preparing to fly to the capital, Ashgabat, and then on to Moscow the following day, to meet with members of the International Social and Ecological Union and to spend his holidays with his family in Russia. After he was arrested he managed to send a mobile phone text message informing his colleagues that he was "in trouble" and needed help.

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Posted by admin on 2006/12/22 17:26:00 (888 reads)

Turkmenistan: New Leader Should End Rights Abuses
(New York, December 21, 2006) – The successor to President Sapurmurat Niazov of Turkmenistan, who died on December 21, should make it a priority to turn around that country’s disastrous human rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. It also called on the government in the interim to take such measures as the immediate release of political prisoners.

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Posted by admin on 2006/12/21 16:24:00 (876 reads)


Turkmenistan’s president-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov died of a heart
attack overnight on 20-21 December 2006. The death of the man who
called himself “father of all the Turkmens” restores hopes of
liberalisation in the Central Asian country. Reporters Without Borders
calls on the Turkmen transitional authorities to immediately free
jailed journalists and political prisoners.

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Posted by admin on 2006/12/21 15:28:00 (1013 reads)

Vienna, 21 December 2006. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and its affiliate the Turkmenistan Initiative for Human Rights are calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Turkmenistan, following the death of President Niyazov.

“We can only hope that his successors will address the deficits in education, health care, and children’s rights resulting from his policies, and honor the fundamental rights and freedoms the people have been cynically denied, “stated IHF Executive Director Aaron Rhodes.

The IHF urges international institutions and Turkmenistan’s bilateral partners to encourage fundamental changes based on respect for democracy, international law, and human rights principles, consistent with Turkmenistan’s obligations as a participating State in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

For more information:

Henrietta Schroeder, IHF Press Officer +43-676-725-4829

Natasha Lazareva, IHF Project Coordinator (Russian/English) +43-1-408-8822

Fahrid Tukhbatullin, Turkmenistan Initiative for Human Rights +43-699-19441327

Posted by admin on 2006/12/20 23:12:00 (1874 reads)

International human rights groups urged Turkmenistan on Wednesday to release a detained environmental activist who they say is at risk of torture.

Most civil society campaigners and journalists have been driven into exile or jailed in Turkmenistan, an ex-Soviet country run by President-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov who tolerates no dissent and enjoys a personality cult.

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Posted by admin on 2006/12/19 20:31:00 (888 reads)

Vienna, 19 December 2006.
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TI) are concerned about the detention of Andrey Zatoka, a well-known Turkmen ecologist and environmental activist, in the city of Dashauz on 17 December 2006. The reasons for Zatoka’s detention remain unclear, but the circumstances clearly suggest that it was an act of intimidation motivated by his civil society engagement.
Zatoka has been involved in civil society activities aimed at improving environmental conditions in Turkmenistan for many years and previously served as the co-chair of the Dashauz Ecological Club, which was closed down by a court in 2003. He was detained the same day as he was supposed to leave for Ashgabat, from where he was due to travel to Moscow to attend a meeting of the International Socio-Ecological Union, on whose advisory board he is serving. His family resides in Russia, and he planned to celebrate the New Year with them.

The IHF and the TI call on the Turkmen authorities to promptly investigate the case of Zatoka and to ensure that he is immediately released if his detention was politically motivated. We also urge the authorities to ensure that he can, without hindrance, continue to engage in peaceful and legitimate civil society activities benefiting the citizens of Turkmenistan, including by interacting with colleagues from other countries.
For more information:

Aaron Rhodes, IHF Executive Director, +43-676-635 6612
Henriette Schroeder, IHF press Officer, +43-676-725 4829

Farid Tukhbatullin, TI Chair, +43-1-944 1327

Posted by admin on 2006/12/16 15:36:00 (869 reads)

Over the course of three days this summer, Turkmenistan's interior ministry (formerly the local KGB) arrested three people and charged them with spying: Annakurban Amanklychev of the French TV production company Galaxie-Presse and the French TV station France 2; Ogulsapar Muradova, correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; and Sapardurdy Khajiyev, a human rights activist.
Along with some other human rights activists, they were accused by the interior ministry on June 19 of spying for the intelligence services of NATO countries. They were also accused of collaborating with foreign diplomats (Henri Tomassini, a cultural officer at the French Embassy, and Benjamin Moreau, the representative in Turkmenistan of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and Western journalists (Lucy Ash of the BBC and Catherine Berthillier of Galaxie-Presse). What was their real crime? Helping journalists report on Turkmenistan's totalitarian regime.

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Posted by admin on 2006/12/8 10:51:00 (882 reads)

The Turkmen authorities have declared the December 3 local elections a resounding success, saying they met international electoral standards. NBCentralAsia commentators cast doubt on this claim, saying the ballot did not offer voters a real choice.

These elections were the first time a choice of candidates was on offer for district- and municipal-level councils. Officials said turnout was 97 per cent. Similar multi-candidate elections were held for the gengeshes, the lowest tier of elected councils, on July 23 this year. This new style of election is underpinned by a law passed last year.

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