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.