HRW Appeals to Turkish Government to Stop Deportation of Turkmen Activists

The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch published an appeal to the Turkish government demanding that it refuse deportation to Turkmenistan and immediately release the Turkmen activists detained in Istanbul.

In the period from 18 to 22 October in Turkey, three Turkmen citizens, Akhmed Rakhmanov , Kamil Abulov and Bayram Allalyev, were detained and placed in a deportation center . On the evening of October 26, one of them, namely the 47-year-old chat administrator of the opposition group DVT Akhmed Rakhmanov, who went on a dry hunger strike on October 22, was released.

“The return of activists to Turkmenistan would put them at serious risk of persecution, including torture and other ill-treatment, and enforced disappearance. Turkey must abide by its international obligations and not send men anywhere where they may face abuse, ”said Rachel Denber, deputy director for Europe and Central Asia at Human Rights Watch .

Human rights activists also call on Turkey's international partners to call on Ankara to comply with its international legal obligations and not to deport activists to Turkmenistan, including those in custody.

Rakhmanov, Abulov and Allalyev criticized the policy of the Turkmen government for refusing to renew passports through consular services, reluctance to admit the presence of COVID-19 cases in Turkmenistan and non-observance of citizens' rights to freedom of speech.

Increased pressure on Turkmen dissidents is taking place on the eve of the summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking states in Ankara on November 12, in which Turkmenistan will allegedly take part as an observer. Some commentators said Turkey wants to strengthen the organization and is trying to persuade Turkmenistan and other countries to join.

Akhmed Rakhmanov was detained in Antalya on October 18. His residence permit in Turkey expired 18 months ago. He was unable to extend the GNI because his Turkmen passport had expired. Only recently was Rakhmanov able to renew his passport until December 2022 and also intended to renew his residence permit in Turkey. According to the Turkmen Helsinki Foundation, the activist's lawyer intends to submit a request for refugee status on his behalf.

On the same day, 35-year-old Kamil Abulov was detained in Istanbul. He has a valid residence permit in Turkey and has not applied for refugee status. In August, Abulov tried to take part in a rally outside the Turkmen consulate in Istanbul when unidentified assailants attacked the protesters.

Bayram Allalyev, 34, was detained at the Istanbul Migration Service, where he was summoned to apply for an extension of his residence permit. Allalyev, whose Turkmen passport has expired, is active in chat groups of Turkmen dissidents.

The THF reports that the Turkish authorities have a list of 25 names of Turkmen activists in Turkey who are under threat of detention or deportation at the direction of the government of Turkmenistan.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan