After being interviewed by journalists a gay man Kasymberdy Garayev goes missing again in Turkmenistan

A 24 year old healthcare practitioner Kasymberdy Garayev, who correspondents of Radio Azatlyk last interviewed in early November, has failed to get in touch with his friends and colleague, Turkmen news reports.

After Kasymberdy told RadioAzatlyk about the problems related to his sexual orientation he was not seen at his work place or the English language course he had previously attended.

He would not have missed the slightest opportunity to update on his whereabouts, as he is well aware that we worry about him. He was also well aware that after the coming out anything could happen to him and for this reason he had asked us in advance not to believe any statements he would make, not to leave him alone, to disclose his fate and continue talking about problems of the Turkmen gay community, one of Garayev's friends was quoted by Turkmen news.

Journalists contacted the man's father by telephone who demanded that before calling, all false reports about Kasymberdy should be corrected if you do worry about him.

On 21 October Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) published a narrative by a gay man in which he came out and reported the problems he faced in Turkmenistan. His real name was not disclosed.

Turkmenistan's police officers managers to find out the man's identity. He turned out to be a 24 year old cardiologist Kasymberdy Garayev. On 24 October the young man was summoned to the police and has been held incommunicado since then.

On 31 October Radio Azatlyk published the young man's personal data and posted a video, where Kasymberdy apologized to his family and friends in case he goes missing.

On 6 November, in the run-up to the visit of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to Italy, the Italian senator and the LGTB activists demanded that the Italian government raise the issue of Kasymberdy Garayev's fate during the meeting with the head of Turkmenistan.

In the evening of November 6, 2019 Kasymberdy and his father contacted journalists of Radio Azatlyk via a video call and stated that all reports about to him were untrue. According to them, a video had been recorded by the young man for a different purpose and the fact that it ended up in the editorial office was a mistake. The Garayevs asked to inform the individuals and organizations that had expressed concerns about Kasymberdy's fate that everything is fine with him.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan