Police officers extort bribes from vendors at a Bairamali market

The majority of markets and stores in Turkmenistan remain closed because of the prevention measures against the spread of coronavirus which have been imposed by the government. The authorities, however, deny any COVID-19 cases in Turkmenistan.

A week ago Radio “Azatlyk” reported that on 19 September, 2020 vendors at the main market of Bairamali in Mary velayat prevented the authorities from closing the market by organizing a spontaneous act of protest.

According to the radio, vendors from Mary and other etraps are now selling their merchandise at the market. Because of a shortage of places in the bazaar, many put their merchandise on the ground around the market area or on the trunks of their vehicles.

As many merchants do not have a relevant license, police officers extort bribes from them threatening to confiscate the goods if the former refuse to pay.

“Many vendors refuse to leave their stalls and resist the police. Eventually, however, those vendors who wish to work unhampered, have to pay a bribe”, – a correspondent of “Azatlyk” said.

Moreover, the market owners request that a commission be paid despite the fact that vendors sell their things outside the bazaar.

Restrictions on restaurants, cafes, consumer services shops, entertainment venues and gyms have been extended at least until 15 October. It appears that they might be further extended.

As “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” has previously reported the restrictions imposed in Turkmenistan are being followed randomly. Some stores and restaurants are still open despite the official ban. The Turkmen authorities also fail to consistently obey their own instructions, for instance, the requirements to wear masks or keep social distancing.

 

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan

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