Documenting Severe Human Rights Violations | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Documenting Severe Human Rights Violations

Documenting Severe Human Rights Violations

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee details serious human rights abuses in Turkmenistan in joint UN submission.

The Prove They Are Alive! campaign has submitted a report to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan’s review under this important UN mechanism is planned for spring 2018.

Torture and disappearances

 In the report, campaign member organizations detail the grave human rights violations that have taken place in Turkmenistan since the country’s previous UPR review four years ago. This includes enforced disappearances, prison conditions and torture, travel bans and repression of independent journalists.

- Positive change may be coming slowly in Central Asia, but it’s coming. Turkmen authorities have kept the population from enjoying their basic human rights for far too long. This UPR review could serve as a new starting-point for the country, which has so much to offer the world, says Ivar Dale, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

The UPR is a state peer review mechanism carried out under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council.

New beginning?

- After the death of President Niyazov in 2006, observers expressed hope that the human rights situation in Turkmenistan would improve. Unfortunately, that improvement never came. The situation has degenerated further, including new instances of enforced disappearance of government critics, explains Dale and continues:

- Releasing political prisoners and providing families with information on the fate of victims of enforced disappearance could be a true new beginning.

The report was compiled jointly by five organizations devoted to human rights in Turkmenistan: Center for Development of Human Rights and Democracy (Russia), Crude Accountability (USA), Freedom Files (Russia), Human Rights Center Memorial (Russia) and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (Norway).

During its last UPR review in 2013, Turkmenistan received a total of 185 recommendations on different human rights issues. The violations persist, in spite of Turkmen authorities’ formal acceptance of these recommendations.