EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

European Parliament Postpones Vote on Turkmenistan Agreement

Posted by Info on 02/11/2010

Human rights groups have protested that the EU has put energy security and trade concerns before human rights progress.

The Turkmen regime’s much-advertised improvements in education, media, and governance have been superficial. Hundreds of students were barred arbitrarily from studying abroad, and only after a year of protests were most of them permitted to go to Bulgaria, Russia and other countries for study. While Internet cafes have been opened, controversial news services and sites maintained by Turkmen human rights and political groups abroad are blocked. Political prisoners have not been released and the International Committee of the Red Cross has not been allowed to visit the country.

The European Parliament has postponed voting on an agreement with Turkmenistan until March 2011. The agreement was supposed to be signed by late November but has now been delayed.
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Commission and Turkmenistan is now scheduled for adoption in committee in the first reading on January 25, 2011, and for voting in plenary on March 7, 2011. An interim trade agreement with Turkmenistan was signed in April 2009, pending debate on ratification of the PCA.

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