On April 1, a presentation of the review “Turkmenistan. 30 Years of Independence”, which was prepared by activists from the HHD group, Hak Hukuga Daýanç, created in 2021. This was reported by the Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
The event was attended by representatives of nine Turkish NGOs and the media.
Adam Cevik of the International Platform for Justice reminded the audience that Turkmenistan is one of the most repressive and isolated countries in the world. Many residents live below the poverty line, important legal, social and other problems still remain unresolved. Hundreds of thousands of citizens in search of work are forced to travel abroad, including to Turkey. Any dissent is severely suppressed in the country, independent political and public organizations are banned, and there is no freedom of speech.
The human rights activist called for working together to attract the attention of the international community and the media, and stop the pressure on civil society in Turkmenistan.
HHD activist Dursoltan Taganova spoke about serious violations of human rights in Turkmenistan, including freedom of speech, religion, and the lack of democratic elections. In addition, she criticized the authorities for not recognizing the presence of those infected with the coronavirus.
Speaking about the situation of Turkmen citizens in Turkey, Taganova noted that “this country has become a second home for many Turkmen citizens, but they have been facing the problem of renewing their passports for several years.” Because of this, people find themselves in the position of illegal migrants.
“The situation escalated after Turkmenistan closed its borders after the start of the pandemic. Tens of thousands of people still cannot return to their homeland,” she added. “Because of our unsettled legal status, we are deprived of the right to medical care, pensions and protection in case of work injuries. The saddest thing is that when our compatriot dies here, despite our requests to the Turkmen authorities, we cannot bury him at home.”
Lawyer Omer Yuzgul said that the oppressed situation of the Turkmens should not be ignored and called for an end to the violation of their rights.
The past presentation is one of the steps in the development of cooperation between human rights defenders and activists in Turkey and Turkmenistan. Some participants expressed hope for a possible change in the course of official Ashgabat after the March 12 presidential elections, the THF notes.
You can download the report in Turkish from the link (pdf, 30MB).
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan