Main Menu
Search
Who's Online
2 user(s) are online (2 user(s) are browsing News & Acts)

Members: 0
Guests: 2

more...
Login
Username:

Password:


Lost Password?

Register now!
Posted by admin on 2006/10/17 16:51:00 (1084 reads)


Washington, DC - Representative Adam Schiff, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for the Freedom of the Press, has written to the President of Turkmenistan calling on him to investigate the death of journalist Ogulsapar Muradova and restore the right to a free press in his country. It is believed that Ms. Muradova was falsely tried and sent to jail solely for her work as a journalist. While in jail, Ms. Muradova appears to have been assaulted or tortured, and died of her injuries. Rep. Schiff was joined by a group of seventeen bipartisan colleagues in signing the letter.

"The censorship, intimidation, imprisonment, and murder of journalists violate not only their personal liberty, but also the rights of those who are denied access to [important] ... ideas and information," the letter to President Niyazov reads. "International law clearly guarantees freedom of expression and the right to a free press, and we urge the restoration of these rights in Turkmenistan."

The text of the letter is below.

Read More... | 4149 bytes more | Comments?

Posted by admin on 2006/9/22 22:19:00 (1077 reads)

IHF: An Open Letter for Freedom of Expression in Turkmenistan: Turkmen Dissident Remains in Forced Psychiatric Detention Despite International Appeals

Vienna, 30 August 2006

H.E. Mr. Karel De Gucht
OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium
15, Rue des Petits Carmes
B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

Chairman De Gucht,

I write to you gravely concerned that the freedom of expression in Turkmenistan, despite international pressure, continues to be violated with impunity and that the health and welfare of an innocent Turkmen citizen, having exercised this fundamental freedom, is seriously at risk.

In February 2006, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) and the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR) jointly released an open letter addressed to all OSCE delegations about the politically-motivated detention of 70-year-old Turkmen citizen Kakabai Tedjenov, a pensioner and a vocal critic of President Niyazov’s administration.

Mr. Tedjenov was detained on 4 January 2006 and taken to a psychiatric hospital under charges that remain unknown. Prior to his detention, he frequently had sent letters of protest to local and national authorities, decrying government policies. On 7 June 2005, for instance, he dispatched telegrams to the president and prosecutor general of Turkmenistan attacking administration practices. In September 2005, he distributed a pointed declaration among international contacts admonishing President Niyazov for failing to address issues important to citizens of Turkmenistan such as widespread poverty and high rates of unemployment. The declaration also called upon the international community to impose sanctions on Turkmenistan for repeated human rights violations.

In our letter, we concluded that the circumstances of Mr. Tedjenov’s case clearly suggest that he was targeted by authorities for merely exercising his right to the freedom of expression, a right which Turkmenistan, as a party to the ICCPR and an OSCE participating State , has undertaken to respect. Indeed, as early as May 2004, authorities detained Mr. Tedjenov, along with fifty other participants, for protesting official policies during a visit by President Niyazov to Turkmenabat, Mr. Tedjenov’s hometown in eastern Turkmenistan.

We asked that the OSCE Permanent Council quickly take up the case for discussion and consideration. The response, in late February, from the Delegation of Turkmenistan to the OSCE was disappointing. In a brief statement distributed to OSCE participating States, the delegation denied that Mr. Tedjenov had ever been detained or that he had ever been confined to a medical institution.

All of our information, gathered from numerous, credible sources, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Center “Memorial”, contravenes such a flat denial. Since the reported date of Mr. Tedjenov’s detention, his daughter Olga Tedjenova has, for example, been trying to determine his whereabouts by inquiring with government authorities, but they continually refuse to give any definite information. Despite such obstacles to information, we have managed to compile an account of Mr. Tedjenov’s detention.

Not having committed any obvious crime, he has been moved from one psychiatric hospital to another, where at different points he has been confined to cells with murderers and cells for those with no relatives to care for or visit them. In March, he was reportedly sent to the urology department at a medical hospital for treatment, only to be sent back to a psychiatric institution where he remains today.

It is this latest development – Mr. Tedjenov’s return to a psychiatric ward following medical treatment – though only recently uncovered, that leads the IHF to appeal directly to you as the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. This move, on top of his now seven-month long detention and the refusal of the Turkmen OSCE delegation to acknowledge it, charges Mr. Tedjenov’s case with renewed urgency.

The IHF therefore calls upon the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to take up the Tedjenov case bilaterally with the relevant Turkmen authorities and to push for making information on the case more readily accessible. Mr. Tedjenov was a politically-active pensioner speaking out against the failings of his government, exercising a fundamental right of the human dimension, before he was wrongfully silenced by government authorities.

His silenced voice speaks volumes about the current state of the freedom of expression in Turkmenistan, and we hope that the OSCE Chairman-in-Office can give voice to the concerns of the international community by addressing this case.

Respectfully,

Aaron Rhodes, IHF Executive Director

Cc:
OSCE Delegations
OSCE Secretary General
OSCE Centre in Ashgabad
ODIHR
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
National Helsinki Committees
Amnesty International
Memorial
Open Society Institute


Posted by admin on 2006/9/20 7:51:00 (1075 reads)

His Excellency President Saparmourat Niazov
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
c/o HE Ambassador to United States of America
Email: turkmen@mindspring.com

19 September 2006

Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications in 102 countries, to express our outrage at the death in jail of journalist Ogulsapar Muradova.

According to reports, Ms Muradova, who worked for Radio Free Europe, died in jail in Ashgabat less than a month after she was sentenced to six years’ detention. On 14 September Ms Muradova’s family was called to the morgue by security services to collect her body, although the time and circumstances of her death remain unclear. Some reports suggest that Ms Muradova may have received a wound to the head and been beaten. Morgue officials, however, reportedly claim that the cause of death was natural but have refused to allow an independent doctor access to the body.

Ms Muradova was arrested in June with two human rights activists, Sapardurdy Khajyev and Annakurban Amanklytshev. They were convicted at a closed-door trial "for illegal possession of ammunition". In August, Ms Muradova’s co-accused were sentenced to seven years in jail.

We respectfully call on you to ensure that Ms Muradova’s death is fully and fairly investigated and that - should it be discovered that the cause of death was non-natural causes - those responsible are brought to justice. We call on you to take all necessary steps to ensure that your country ends its oppression of the press and observes international standards of free expression

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Gavin O’Reilly
President
World Association of Newspapers

George Brock
President
World Editors Forum

WAN is the global organization for the newspaper industry, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 newspapers in 102 countries, 11 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups. WAN is non-governmental and non-profit.


Posted by admin on 2005/4/21 15:15:00 (1142 reads)



Open Letter

AI Index: ACT 50/012/2005 (Public)

News Service No: 100

20 April 2005

The organizations joining this appeal are unconditionally opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances in all countries around the world on the grounds that it is a violation of the right to life and that it is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. As long as the death penalty is maintained, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated. Executions are brutalizing and only serve to reinforce the cycle of violence. They achieve nothing but revenge and cause anguish for the innocent relatives of those who are executed.

One hundred and twenty countries -- more than half of the countries in the world -- have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. An average of over three countries a year have abolished the death penalty in law or, having done so for ordinary offences, have gone on to abolish it for all offences.

On 20 April 2005, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution on the question of the death penalty calling for a moratorium on executions and the observance of international safeguards in death penalty cases. We welcome its adoption and urge all countries in Europe and Central Asia that retain the death penalty to follow the Commission's recommendations.

In particular, we are calling on the relevant authorities in Belarus and Uzbekistan, whose countries are the last executioners in Europe and Central Asia, to move swiftly towards abolition by introducing a moratorium on death sentences and executions as a first step with a view to complete abolition of the death penalty in due course.

We are calling on the governments of all countries and territories in the region that currently have moratoria in place to fully abolish the death penalty as a matter of urgency.

We urge the Presidents to exercise political leadership on this issue and to do all within their remit to further the trend towards abolition in the region.

The introduction of moratoria in Belarus and Uzbekistan is particularly pressing as flawed criminal justice systems in both countries provide a fertile ground for judicial error. There have been credible allegations of unfair trials, and torture and ill-treatment, often to extract "confessions", on a regular basis. In Belarus between four and seven people have reportedly been sentenced to death and executed every year since 2000. President Islam Karimov said at a press conference in December 2004 that between 50 and 60 people had been sentenced to death in Uzbekistan in 2004. However, both governments have consistently failed to publish comprehensive statistics on death sentences and executions. The application of the death penalty in Belarus and Uzbekistan is surrounded by secrecy. As a result death row prisoners and their relatives are subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment. Neither the prisoners nor their relatives are informed of the date of the execution in advance, denying them a last chance to say goodbye. The body of the prisoner is not given to the relatives for burial and they are not informed of the place of burial.

Around 150 prisoners have "accumulated" on death row since Kyrgyzstan introduced a moratorium on executions in December 1998. Many death row prisoners have been waiting for years in a state of continued uncertainty as to their ultimate fate, which constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Kazakstan as well as the internationally unrecognized regions of Abkhazia and the Dnestr Moldavian Republic have also continued to pass death sentences.

Russia has a moratorium on death sentences and executions in place and is now the only country of all 46 members of the Council of Europe that has still not abolished the death penalty in law despite its promise upon accession to the organization to abolish it no later than 1999. Tajikistan and the internationally unrecognized region of South Ossetia also have moratoria on death sentences and executions in place.

In most of the countries in the region that no longer carry out executions, relatives of death row prisoners, who had previously been executed, have still not been able to find out where their loved ones were buried. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, for example, domestic legislation still stipulates that the place of burial is not disclosed.

We are concerned that the conditions on death row in the region fall far short of international standards. In Belarus, for example, death row prisoners are not entitled to any outdoor exercise and electric lighting is on day and night. In Kyrgyzstan some death row prisoners have reportedly lost mobility due to lack of exercise.

Many governments in the region have frequently referred to public opinion as a key argument against introducing a moratorium or abolishing the death penalty. At the same time, several countries prevent an informed public debate from taking place by withholding vital information about the application of the death penalty, including comprehensive statistics on death sentences and executions. In Belarus and Uzbekistan there have been instances where the authorities have actively limited the peaceful expression of opinions on the death penalty, including by harassing and intimidating activists.

The organizations joining this appeal believe that governments should lead public opinion in matters of human rights and criminal policy. Historically it has almost always been the case that the death penalty has been abolished by governments even though significant sectors of the public favoured its retention.

We urge the governments in Europe and Central Asia to refrain from deporting people to countries where they are at risk of being sentenced to death, in line with international treaty obligations. Many countries have in the past facilitated such deportations and the death verdicts have often been pronounced in unfair trials accompanied by torture allegations. Russia deported at least two men to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2001 and 2000 respectively where both were sentenced to death, in violation of Russia’s human rights commitments as a member of the Council of Europe. Kyrgyzstan deported people to executions in China and Uzbekistan only months after Kyrgyzstan had put a moratorium in place citing its commitment to protect human rights. Other countries that deported people to executions in recent years included Kazakstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Background

In the nineteenth century and the period leading up to the Second World War, the death penalty was permanently abolished in several European countries. Out of the atrocities of the Second World War came a new thirst for human rights resulting, among others, in a new wave of moves towards abolition of the death penalty. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of independent states from Eastern Europe to Central Asia gave a new impetus to the drive towards a death penalty-free zone in Europe and Central Asia.

We have great sympathy with the victims of crime and recognize the duty of governments to tackle problems of law and order. However, scientific studies have consistently failed to find convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments. The most recent survey of research findings on the relation between the death penalty and homicide rates, conducted for the UN in 1988 and updated in 2002, concluded that "it is not prudent to accept the hypothesis that capital punishment deters murder to a marginally greater extent than does the threat and application of the supposedly lesser punishment of life imprisonment."

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

International non-governmental organizations

Amnesty International - Irene Khan, Secretary General;

ECPM, Ensemble contre la peine de mort - Micheel Taube, President;

FIDH, International Federation for Human Rights – Sidiki Kaba, President;

Human Rights Watch - Rachel Denber, Acting Executive Director for Europe and Central Asia;

ICJ, International Commission of Jurists - Nicholas Howen, Secretary General;

International Federation of ACAT, Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture - Sylvie Bukhari-de Pontual;

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights - Aaron Rhodes, Executive Director;

International League for Human Rights - Scott Horton, President;

OMCT-Europe, World Organisation Against Torture - Laetitia Sedou, European Co-ordinator;

Penal Reform International - Paul English, Executive Director;



Regional non-governmental organizations

ACAT México [Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture] - Fabienne Cabaret, Legal Coordinator (Mexico);

Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants - Esther C Bangcawayan, Women Program / Area Co-ordinator (Hong Kong);

Asian Human Rights Commission - Basil Fernando, Executive Director (Hong Kong);

Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty - Dorina Lisson, President (Australia);

Azerbaijan Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights Protection - Rena Sadaddinova (Azerbaijan);

Azerbaijan Human Rights Center - Eldar Zeynalov, Director (Azerbaijan);

Belarusian Helsinki Committee - Dzmitry Markusheuski, Press Secretary (Belarus);

Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law - Nigina Bakhrieva, Program Director (Tajikistan);

Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development - Emil Adelkhanov, Deputy Chair of the Council (Georgia);

Center of Legal Aid for Ethnic Minorities - Guncham Nurakhunova, Director (Kazakhstan);

Centre for Civil Initiatives - Albert Voskanyan, Director (Nagorno-Karabakh);

Centre for Humanitarian Programs - Batal Kobahiya (Abkhazia);

Chernihiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection - Oleksiy Tarasov, Chair (Ukraine);

Congress of Caucasian Women - Maka Khangoshvili, Chair (Georgia);

Death Penalty Focus - Lance G. Lindsey, Executive Director (United States of America);

Former Political Prisoners for Human Rights - Nana Kakabadze, Chair (Georgia);

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly of Azerbaijan - Arzu Abdullaeva (Azerbaijan);

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly of Vanadzor - Artur Sakunts (Armenia);

Human Rights Center “Fray Francisco de Vitoria” - Miguel Concha Malo, Chair of the Board (Mexico);

Human Rights Committee - Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada (Mexico);

Human Rights Information and Documentation Centre - Ucha Nanuashvili, Executive Director (Georgia);

Human Rights Network "Todos los Derechos para Todos" [All Rights for All] - Edgar Cortés, Secretary General (Mexico);

Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Civil Assistance” - Ruslan Sharipov, Chair (Uzbekistan);

Independent Human Rights Group - Dinara Sayakova, Director (Kyrgyzstan);

Initiative Group of Independent Human Rights Defenders of Uzbekistan - Surat Ikramov, Chair (Uzbekistan);

Institute of Peace and Democracy - Leyla Yunus (Dr.), Director (Azerbaijan);

Italian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty - Arianna Ballotta, President (Italy);

Joint Committee for the Abolition of the Death Penalty - Father Franco Mella (Hong Kong);

Journey of Hope...from Violence to Healing - Bill Pelke, President (United States of America);

Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese - Christine Or (Hong Kong);

Legal Aid Society - Nozima Kamalova (Uzbekistan);

Legal Forum Association - Yury Shentsov, Executive Director (Kyrgyzstan);

Legal Initiative - Valeri Fadeev, Chair (Belarus);

Mexican Commission for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights - Fabián Sanchez Matus, Director (Mexico);

Mothers Against the Death Penalty and Torture - Tamara Chikunova, Chief-Coordinator (Uzbekistan);

Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights - Hon. Renny Cushing, Executive Director (United States of America);

Norwegian Helsinki Committee - Bjorn Engesland, Secretary-General (Norway);

Professional Assistance - Yelena Volochay, Member of Board (Ukraine);

Public Committee for Aid to Refugees “Civil Assistance” - Svetlana Gannushkina (Russia);

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty - Rick Halperin, President (United States of America);

Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights - Farid Tukhbatullin (Turkmenistan);

Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation on Human Rights - Tadzhigul Begmedova, Chair (Turkmenistan);

United Filipinos in Hong Kong Secretariat - Emmanuel C Villanueva, Secretary-General (Hong Kong);

Uzbekistan Human Rights Society "Ezgulik" - Vasila Inoyatova, Chair (Uzbekistan);

Women’s Association of Abkhazia - Natella Akaba, Chair of the Steering Board (Abkhazia);

Youth Human Rights Group - Maria Lisitsyna, Chair of the Coordinating Council (Kyrgyzstan).



Public Document

****************************************

For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566

Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web: http://www.amnesty.org



For latest human rights news view http://news.amnesty.org


Posted by admin on 2005/3/21 15:23:00 (1078 reads)

Letter to Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Luxembourg

March 17, 2005

Jean Asselborn

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration

Hôtel Saint Maximin
5, rue Notre-Dame
L-2240 Luxembourg

Via facsimile: + 352 22 31 44

Dear Minister Asselborn,

We are a coalition of nongovernmental organizations concerned about the state of human rights in Turkmenistan. We urge you to introduce a resolution at the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights condemning the Turkmen government’s human rights record. This resolution should recognize that the human rights crisis in the country has worsened to the point that it is necessary to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Turkmenistan.

You are doubtless fully aware of the situation for human rights in Turkmenistan. The extent of Turkmenistan’s non-compliance with the international human rights instruments to which it is party is appalling. There are no free media, and no freedom of expression, assembly or association. No election in Turkmenistan has been free and fair. There are numerous people imprisoned on politically-motivated charges, after grossly unfair trials; often their relatives have been deprived of homes and livelihoods as collective punishment. Torture is widespread, and prison conditions can be deadly. National minorities are subject to blatant discrimination, and religious freedom is curbed. Individuals lose their homes, without adequate compensation, to the president’s grandiose urban remodeling schemes or to gratuitous demolitions.

When judged against global social and economic development goals, Turkmenistan represents an almost unique contemporary case of a country whose leadership is sending it on a backward course. State policies and practices on education (where the curtailing of higher education and the filling of the curriculum with classes devoted to President Niazov’s Rukhnama ideology represent a double blow), on overseas travel and contacts, and on access to information, are consigning Turkmenistan’s entire society to conditions of insularity and ignorance. A presidential order for the widespread closure of public libraries, including all libraries in rural communities, is currently being carried out. In the name of building the Turkmen nation, the government has also banned opera, ballet, circus, the philharmonic orchestra, and non-Turkmen cultural associations. Many members of the intelligentsia have left the country; people from all social strata and particularly from national minority groups are coming to see migration as the only alternative to a future living in such a restricted society cut off from the global community.

The president’s announcement on February 28 that he had ordered the closure of all hospitals outside the capital, if enacted, would be a development so grave in its implications for the suffering of the population at large that its only parallel would be with some of the actions of the most heinous regimes of modern times. As matters currently stand, Turkmenistan is not educating a new generation of doctors. If the past is any indicator, the wealth generated by Turkmenistan’s natural resources is more likely to be spent on grand projects of doubtful public benefit than on public services, leaving much of the population in poverty and deprivation. Under current conditions, public oversight of and accountability for how natural resource revenue is spent in Turkmenistan is inconceivable.

The resolution adopted at last year’s Commission expressed grave concern about many elements of this repression. The General Assembly adopted a resolution at the end of 2004, covering many of the same concerns. This was a very welcome development in the accrual of international criticism, but we would argue that the fact of the recent General Assembly resolution does not obviate the need for Turkmenistan to again come onto the Commission’s agenda this year. Most importantly, the 2004 General Assembly resolution does not take the international community’s position to the next level of action that is now required on Turkmenistan. With no significant positive response by Turkmenistan to the series of resolutions already passed, and developments such as the hospital closure announcement opening up new areas for grave concern, the international community must show that it is now prepared to step up the pressure. Specifically it should take the very concrete step of passing a new resolution at the Commission which authorizes the appointment of a Special Rapporteur.

This Special Rapporteur should be mandated to closely examine the situation of human rights in Turkmenistan. Specifically, the Special Rapporteur should determine what obstacles are preventing the implementation of provisions set out in previous resolutions for full respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, fair trial,
access to detained persons, ending forced displacement, lifting restrictions on civil society, and the submission of reports to all relevant United Nations treaty bodies. The Special Rapporteur should suggest specific steps to be taken by Turkmenistan to overcome or remove those obstacles, as well as to comply with the provisions of the present resolution, and should make a realistic assessment of the scale and impact of steps taken by Turkmenistan to meet elements of previous resolutions. As a necessary step towards achieving these mandated activities, the Special Rapporteur should establish direct contacts with the government and with the people of Turkmenistan.

Further, we ask you to give serious reflection to how the absence of a resolution on Turkmenistan at this year’s Commission on Human Rights will be understood in Turkmenistan. The international community should resist giving in to the frustration and fatigue engendered by Turkmenistan’s intransigence towards the series of resolutions already passed in international fora—to do so would convey to the Turkmen government that its tactic of “facing down” the international community is working. It will also convey to the Turkmenistan authorities that small steps of the kind that Turkmenistan has reportedly signaled it may concede and which only fractionally meet the requirements of previous resolutions, can be traded for a relaxation of public international condemnation. It would be a very grave error to convey to a government such as this that basic obligations can be treated as “negotiables.”

The people of Turkmenistan languish under the rule of one of the most abusive governments in the world, and their situation is worsening. This is not the moment for the Commission on Human Rights to fall silent about this.

We thank you for your attention to our concerns.

Civil Activists for Democracy

Vyacheslav Mamedov, Timur Misrikhanov

Environmental Justice Foundation

Juliette Williams, Director

Human Rights Watch

Rachel Denber, Acting Executive Director, Europe and Central Asia Division

International Helsinki Federation

Aaron Rhodes, Executive Director

International League for Human Rights

Peter Zalmayev, CIS Program Manager

Memorial Human Rights Center

Vitaly Ponomarev, Head of the Central Asia Program

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation

Tadzhigul Begmedova, Chair

Turkmenistan Helsinki Initiative

Farid Tuhbatullin


Posted by admin on 2005/3/12 15:19:00 (1266 reads)

March 11, 2005

Prezident Turkmenistana Saparmurad A. Niyazov
Apparat Prezidenta
744000 ASHGABAT
TURKMENISTAN

Your Excellency President Niyazov,

I am an Akhal Teke breeder in British Columbia, Canada. I have dedicated my life to introduce and promote this extraordinary horse breed to Canadians. It is my sincere wish that one day I can perhaps visit the Presidential Stables to view your horses who I have heard are some of the most beautiful specimens in the entire world. It would be wonderful for me to see Piyada and Yanardag, both of whom have already adorned several paintings and photos.

You have acquired, Your Excellency, a reputation at the international level for not only having a profound affection for Akhal Tekes but also for your immeasurable contribution towards the preservation and promotion of these unique horses. Your generosity in gifting noble Akhal Teke horses to other heads of state clearly illustrates the pride that you feel for these horses. I hope that my humble efforts to breed and promote Akhal Teke horses in Canada will be fruitful. We already had success last year with one of our Akhal Teke, a beautiful filly from the El line named “Almaty”. She won first place and reserve champion at a large exhibition. In addition to educating the Canadian equestrian community about Akhal Tekes, I take great pride in introducing Canadians to the Akhal Teke’s homeland. This great, ancient land that is Turkmenistan never fails to intrigue my audience. Truly, I sincerely hope that one day I can visit your great homeland. I do not think that books can do its splendor justice.

Another Turkmen breeder for whom I have great respect is M. Geldy Kyarizov. M. Kyarizov has demonstrated a wealth of knowledge about Akhal Teke horses. I have heard through the international community of Akhal Teke breeders that M. Kyarizov has been imprisoned for some time now and that his health is extremely poor. I do not wish, Your Excellency, to be disrespectful and ask you why M. Kyarizov is in prison. I am from Canada, and as you probably know, Canada is highly regarded worldwide as a peaceful and neutral nation. Canada does not disrespectfully probe into the affairs of other nations. After careful consideration, I have decided to write to you personally to present an offer. I am in great hope that you will see a value in this offer. I am respectfully asking that you exercise your power of Presidential pardon for M. Kyarizov, perhaps on the grounds that he is a gravely ill man who has served his country and Akhal Teke horses in the past with great fervor. Perhaps the National Day of the Horse could be an opportunity to exercise your Presidential pardon for M. Kyarizov. I can assure Your Excellency that this pardon would be regarded by the international Akhal Teke community as a great gesture of affection for the Akhal Tekes because it would show that you wisely see the benefits of making available the skills and knowledge of M. Kyarizov. Your Excellency, I hope that I have not offended you by presenting you with this proposition. Such was not my intent. I humbly implore you to give it consideration.

With immense respect,

Sandra de Blois, Ph.D.

Lone Larch Akhal Tekes

Canada