• Following presidential elections, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov retained unchallenged power, and Turkmenistan remains one of the world’s most repressive countries. The country is virtually closed to independent scrutiny. Media and religious freedoms are subject to draconian restrictions, and human rights defenders and other activists face the constant threat of government reprisal. The authorities continue to use imprisonment as a tool for political retaliation and to restrict peoples’ right to travel freely. Turkmenistan continues to expand relations with foreign governments and international organizations, but without meaningful outcomes for human rights.



  • Jan 29, 2015
    Central Asia’s already poor human rights record deteriorated further in 2014, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan failed to uphold and in some cases further undermined their core human rights commitments.
  • Dec 1, 2014
  • Nov 26, 2014
    Dozens of people have been forcibly disappeared in Turkmenistan, some for more than a decade, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. The government of Turkmenistan should immediately inform the relatives of the disappeared of their fate and whereabouts and allow them access to their loved ones.
  • Aug 28, 2014
    Dozens of people have been forcibly disappeared in Turkmenistan, some for more than a decade.
  • May 19, 2014
    Turkmen authorities have barred the family of one of the country’s most prominent human rights defenders from traveling abroad, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The Turkmen government should immediately end its longstanding practice of banning government critics and their family members from foreign travel, the groups said.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    Ongoing serious rights abuses by the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan make it essential for the United States and the European Union to consistently and publicly raise human rights concerns and urge specific human rights improvements in 2014, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2014.
  • Sep 18, 2013
    Human Rights Watch welcomes the Universal Periodic Review report on Turkmenistan and hopes that it will be used to bring about real improvement in one of the most closed, repressive countries in the world. Much depends on whether the government will take concrete steps to implement those recommendations that could lead to an end to its intolerance to criticism, the existing draconian restrictions on freedom of expression and association over which it presides, and the threats and harassment against those who question its policies.
  • Jul 24, 2013
    The World Bank should urge the Turkmen government to make a commitment to governance reforms before it moves to normalize relations with Turkmenistan. The bank’s board of directors is scheduled to consider a re-engagement strategy for Turkmenistan on July 25, 2013.
  • Jul 3, 2013
    The entertainer Jennifer Lopez should consider donating the payment for performing for the president of Turkmenistan to a charity that supports the victims of his rule.
  • Jul 2, 2013
    Many Turkmen citizens are forbidden from doing what Jennifer Lopez did after her concert: leave the country.