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Turkmenistan

    October 27, 2015

    Released on 00:01 GMT Wednesday 28 October 2015

    An estimated 50,000 or more people have been forcibly evicted from their homes as part of a push to ‘beautify’ the capital of Turkmenistan ahead of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Amnesty International can reveal today as it published satellite images showing the extent of the devastation.

    Amnesty International’s analysis of satellite images shows that 5,000 houses, each home to an average of five people, were destroyed in the Choganly neighbourhood near Ashgabat between March 2014 and April 2015. The organization has since learned that the entire neighbourhood – comprising more than 10,000 houses – was entirely razed to the ground by September and that fresh demolitions are continuing in other areas of the capital rendering many families homeless.

    June 02, 2014

    The Turkmenistani authorities must grant a retrial to an unfairly imprisoned human rights activist who has hours to live following a 14-day dry hunger strike, Amnesty International said today.

    Mansur Mingelov has refused all food or drink since 19 May in protest at the 22-year sentence for alleged drug and child pornography offences passed down after an unfair trial. Prison doctors say he is in a critical condition.

    The 39-year-old was arrested in 2012 after recording evidence of police torture from detainees from Turkmenistan’s Baloch ethnic community.

    “Mansur Mingelov was imprisoned after an unfair trial after daring to expose police human rights violations against an ethnic minority group,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Program.

    “The Turkmenistani authorities can avert his death by abiding by their obligations and granting Mansur Mingelov a fair trial.”

    May 20, 2014

    (Berlin, May 20, 2014) – Turkmenistani authorities have barred the family of one of the country’s most prominent human rights defenders from traveling abroad, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee said today. The Turkmenistani government should immediately end its longstanding practice of banning government critics and their family members from foreign travel, the groups said.

    On April 10, 2014, Turkmenistani authorities barred Ruslan Tukhbatullin from flying to Istanbul to visit his brother, Farid. Farid Tukhbatullin is the head of the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights, one of the most prominent human rights groups working on Turkmenistan. He has lived in exile in Austria since 2003, after he was released from prison in Turkmenistan. He had been convicted of politically motivated charges and pressured by the authorities to leave the country.

    December 12, 2013

    Turkmenistan’s authorities have simply paid lip service to reform in a bid to appease the international community said Amnesty International in the run up to parliamentary elections this weekend (15 December).

    “Holding these elections will not address the atmosphere of total repression, denial of the basic human rights, and the all-permeating fear that has gripped society in Turkmenistan for years, and all pretence of progress on human rights is simply deceitful,” John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Program Director at Amnesty International.

    In 2012, the authorities in the strategically placed oil and gas rich country pushed through reforms which they claimed would lead to the establishment of a second political party. It also allowed, in theory, for an independent media.

    “Recent reforms amount to no more than token gestures designed to distract the international community. Eager foreign investors should not be fooled by these moves or use them to justify uncritical engagement.” said John Dalhuisen.

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