EU and Turkmen officials hold human rights dialogue

On 21 June 2018 representatives of the European Union and Turkmenistan held a meeting within the framework of the human right dialogue.

The Turkmenistan delegation was led by Mr Vepa Hajiyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ms Yazdursun Gurbannazarova, Ombudsperson for Human Rights, while the EU delegation was represented by Mr Boris Iarochevich, Head of the Central Asia Division at the European External Action Service.

The dialogue allowed for constructive and open exchanges on a wide range of issues, including peaceful assembly, civil society development, freedom of religion or belief, women's and child rights, freedom of the press and the prevention of torture and ill-treatment.

According to the press release issued by the EU, individual cases, including human right defendants who have been detained or have disappeared, were also discussed. No first or last names were disclosed.

The EU has repeatedly called on Turkmenistan to immediately acknowledge the problem of enforced disappearances, and take effective action to eradicate this problem. The Turkmen authorities provided information on the situation of some such cases. However, the names of the prisoners from the list whose information was provided have not been reported.

It was emphasized that Turkmenistan has refused to comply with international human rights law in several areas. The ratification by Turkmenistan of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance would illustrate its commitment to enhancing human rights.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan