EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Turkmenistan: Submission to UN Committee Against Torture

Posted by Info on 10/05/2011

Turkmenistan is one most repressive governments in the world. The government exercises total control of public life. People profoundly fear talking about mistreatment they or their relatives have endured at the hands of the authorities out of fear of government retaliation, and human rights activists work under extremely dangerous circumstances.

The Turkmen government continues some of the worst human rights practices such as forcibly detaining dissidents in psychiatric facilities, sending into internal exile those who fall out of government favor, and arbitrarily interfering with citizens‘ability to travel abroad.

A significant portion of this submission is devoted to presenting the broader human rights context that we believe is essential for the Committee’s assessment of the state party’s report and of the information about torture and ill-treatment that it will receive from human rights groups. Nevertheless, torture and ill-treatment are widely recognized as a major concern in Turkmenistan, and Human Rights Watch is aware of several cases in which individuals detained in Turkmenistan reported that they had been held incommunicado, subjected to ill-treatment, including torture.

In 2010 and 2011 Turkmenistan adopted a raft of new laws, including amendments to the criminal and administrative codes. However, none of these changes have addressed the government’s fundamental lack of public accountability.

Turkmenistan’s prisons remain closed to the outside for observation. No international agency, governmental or non-governmental, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has access to monitor Turkmen detention facilities.
After two decades of intolerance to dissent and widespread abuse of the criminal justice system for governmental purges, hundreds and possibly thousands of people have either served or continue to serve lengthy prison terms as a result of closed, unfair trials.

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