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Retaliation after Khursanai Ismatullaeva’s Case is Discussed in European Parliament

On July 16, police in Turkmenistan arrested a doctor whose unfair dismissal was raised during a human rights panel that I moderated that was held a day earlier by the European Parliament. Khursanai Ismatullaeva had worked at a neonatal clinic near…
Kursanai Ismatullaeva detained Turkmenistan
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News

Stop Threatening Families, Respect Freedom of Expression

(Vienna) – Turkmen security officials have questioned and threatened a 14-year-old boy in retaliation for the outspoken views of his uncle, a Turkmen activist and journalist who lives in Turkey, four independent human rights groups said today. The…
Rozybai Jumamadov, whose 14-year-old nephew and family were harassed and threatened by authorities in Turkmenistan, May 2020.
News

Uphold, Reaffirm Human Rights Protections

(Berlin) – Government responses to the acute human rights challenges posed by Covid-19 across Central Asia negatively affected right to health, media freedoms, and access to justice, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Uzbek students take open-air entrance exams in Tashkent on September 2, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic.
News

Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
News

Sentence Highlights Politically Motivated Persecution

(Berlin) – Turkmenistan’s authorities should immediately and unconditionally release a lawyer imprisoned on bogus charges that appear to be in retaliation for his alleged ties with activists abroad, 10 human rights organizations said today. The…
Pygambergeldy Allaberdyev
News

Dursoltan Taganova Risks Arbitrary Detention, Torture if Returned Home

Update (October 15, 2020): On October 12, Dorsultan Taganova was released from the Kirklareli Pehlivankoy women’s deportation center. The undersigned groups will continue to monitor her case. (Berlin) – The Turkish government should halt plans to…
Dorsultan Taganova.
News
The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
News

Pandemic Compounds People’s Struggle for Affordable Food

(New York) – Government inaction in response to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically exacerbated Turkmenistan’s pre-existing food crisis, Human Rights Watch and the Turkmenistan Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR) said today.…
A woman sells herbs in Ashgabat.
News

Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
News

Officials Withhold Information, Pressure Health Workers

(Berlin) – Turkmenistan authorities are jeopardizing public health by denying an apparent outbreak of the coronavirus, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials claim there are no Covid-19 cases, silence health workers, and do not promote social…
Entrance to the Niyazov Medical Center in Ashgabat, one of Turkmenistan's top medical facilities, June 2020.
News

Decriminalize Consensual Same-Sex Conduct

In Turkmenistan, men who have sex with men continue to be arrested and imprisoned on sodomy charges. In mid-April independent media in the region reported the arrest of a popular entertainer as well as those of numerous other…
A screen showing a portrait of Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov inside the terminal of the newly built airport in Ashgabat
News

Storm Survivors Need Help, Not Censorship

Last week a hurricane tore through eastern Turkmenistan’s Lebap and Mary provinces. It was one of the country’s worst natural disasters in almost 10 years. But as residents struggle to bury their dead and repair homes, state and state-affiliated,…
Hurricane damage to a residential building in Turkmenabad, Lebap province, Turkmenistan, May 2020.
News

Ensure Information Access, Curb Abuses, Protect Detainees

(Berlin) – Governments in Central Asia have failed to consistently uphold human rights obligations in their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic by limiting access to information about the spread of the virus and implementing restrictions…
Kyrgyz law enforcement officers verify drivers and passengers' documents at a check point, after authorities declared a state of emergency in the capital Bishkek.
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End Arbitrary Detention, Speech Restrictions

(Berlin) – Changes in the names and faces of political leaders in Central Asia have brought promises for reforms, but core human rights concerns, such as detention of critics and limits to free speech, remain urgent in all five…
An Uzbekistan cotton grower works in a cotton plantation outside Tashkent, on October 24, 2019.
News
The EU is proud that protecting human rights is central to its efforts to make the world a better place, and has repeatedly defined this goal as integral to its foreign policy. That’s the theory. The reality often looks different – in Central Asia…
Kazakhstan police officers detain a protester during an opposition rally in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
201911arms_robots_stunt
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Update: On November 6, 2019, at around 11 p.m., Kasymberdy Garayev and his father, Maksat Garayev, had a video call with the chief editor of RFE/RL’s Turkmen service from their home. Maksat Garayev asked the editor to tell people and…
Kasymberdy Garayev
News

Two of Alysher Muhametguliyev’s Co-Defendants Died within Two Years of Verdict

Alysher Muhametguliyev, who is serving a 23-year prison sentence in Turkmenistan’s notorious  Ovadan Depe prison, urgently needs medical care and should be released immediately for medical treatment. Muhametguliyev was…
Alysher Muhametguliyev