Khallyev, Tagandurdy

Date of Birth: 1939, born in the Hasan-Kuliysk district of the Krasnovodsk region

Citizenship: Turkmen

Residence at time of arrest: Ashgabat

Position when arrested: Deputy of the Parliament

Details of arrest: On November 12, 2002, Khallyev allegedly resigned from his duties as Chairman of the Mejlis due to “health reasons.”[1] The meeting of deputies at which this decision was taken was not held in the Parliament building, as usual, but in the presidential palace, in the office of President Niyazov himself. According to the President, the speaker himself asked to be released from his duty. Opposition members believe that Saparmurat Niyazov feared betrayal by the Speaker of Parliament.[2]

The exact date of his arrest is not known. According to the website “Gundogar,” on December 9, 2002, at around 5PM, he was summoned to the Ministry of National Security (MNS), and was arrested after questioning and placed in the jail of the MNS. This information has not been confirmed by independent sources.[3] The opposition website “Dogra El” also states that he was arrested as early as December 9, 2002 on suspicion of involvement in the alleged assassination attempt on President Niyazov on November 25, 2002.[4]

On December 14, 2002, he was stripped of powers of as a deputy of the Mejlis by a judge of the Balkan Velyat (region).

On December 18, 2002, he was officially stripped of his academic titles and degrees for “violations” of the Constitution, per the decision of the Higher Council for Science and Technology under the President of Turkmenistan. His diplomas included the degree of Candidate, Doctor of Philosophy, and the titles of associate professor and professor.[5]

Charges: Participation in the alleged assassination attempt on President Niyazov. His trial was held January 15-18, 2003, and on January 18, he was convicted by the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan of violating Art.14-101, part 2, paragraph “a”, “b”, “f”, “g”, “h”, “i”, “l”, 129 h .3, 169 part 1, 2, 174, part 2, 176 part 1, part 2, 214, 218 Part 1, 2.3, 231 Part 4, paragraph “a”, “b”, 235 h .2 paragraph “a”, “b”, 254 part 4, paragraph “a”, “b”, 271 Part 3, Part 1 273 275 Part 1 and Part 3 287 of the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan.[6]

Sentence: He was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment (5 years in prison and 20 years in a penal colony). The court also placed a ban on holding any financially or otherwise responsible management positions for 3 years and he was to live in “a prescribed place” for 5 years. The Turkmen television channel videotaped his confession.[7]

Biography: In 1963, Khallyev graduated from Turkmen State University. He earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1970. His thesis was titled, “Shaping the communist attitude to work in the collective farm peasantry (based on materials of the Turkmen SSR).” He became a Doctor of Philosophy in 1992. His research was called “The development of the spiritual life of the peasantry in the transition from traditional to modern society.”

In 1956, he worked as the head of a rural library. From 1963, he was a Lecturer of Philosophy at Turkmen State University (TSU). From 1971 he was a Senior Lecturer, Head of Department, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs of TSU. On May 18, 1991 he became the Rector of TSU. Virtually all lawyers in Turkmenistan studied under him.

From August 1992 to May 1999, he was the Minister of Justice of Turkmenistan. At the same time, from September 1998, he was the Head of the Department of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of the security forces. From January 1999 to January 2001, he was the Advisor to the President of Turkmenistan on legal matters, and coordination of law enforcement and military agencies. In 2001-2002 he served as Member of the Mejlis. From January 2001, he was also the Chairman of the Mejlis Committee on legislation. From March 13 to November 12, 2002 he served as Chairman of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan (elected unanimously). He also authored the monograph, “The spiritual life of the peasantry” (1992).[8]

Information on treatment during imprisonment: According to a WikiLeaks source, the “‘special prisoners’—including primarily those convicted of leading the 2002 motorcade attack but also including some upper-level officials convicted of crimes as a matter of political expediency—live in a special ‘prison within a prison’ in Turkmenistan’s notorious Ovadan Depe prison. According to [the source], conditions within the special prison block are particularly rough. Its inmates have no contact (other than with prison guards) with anybody from outside the block. This ban on contact includes access to doctors and letters from family members. When a prisoner falls sick, the prison doctor must prescribe medication based on a description of what is wrong, without being able to examine the patient.”[9]

Last seen/heard about: Disappeared without a trace. Family and relatives have not received any information about his whereabouts or condition.

According to a source provided to V. Ponomarev of Memorial, Khallyev is among those who died in prison. Another source says he died on September 24, 2004.

According to a WikiLeaks source, Tagandurdy Khallyev is included in a list of 20 prisoners who died between 2002-2007 in a special block of Ovadan Depe.[10]

Arrest, detention, questioning and harassment of relatives and friends: Unknown


[1] Ferghana.News. “Istochniki v Turkmenistane soobshchayut o provedennykh novykh arestakh,” 15.12.2002,, Accessed on 15 January 2014.

[2] Kommerstant. “Protokol: Turkmenbashi pomenyal glavu parlamenta.” 14.11.2002, Accessed on 16 January 2014.

[3]Human Rights Center Memorial. “Turkmenistan: Arest Durdyyeva i ostal’nykh” 15.12.2002. Accessed on 16 January 2014.

[4] TsentrAsia.“Hallyev Tagandurdy” Accessed on 10 January 2014.

[5] Neitralniy Turkmenistan. “Predatel’, oboroten’ i izmennik” eks-spiker Medzhlisa Turkmenistana Khallyyev lishen uchenykh stepeney i zvaniy.”21.12.2002. Accessed on 13 January 2014.

[6] Memorial. “Vragi naroda (Tyrkmenskogo) na stranitsah Ashgabatskovo Ejedelnika ‘Adolat’” Translation.04.02.2003. Accessed on 10 January 2014.

[7] Ibid.

[8]TsentrAsia.“ Hallyev Tagandurdy” Accessed on 10 January 2014.

[9] WikiLeaks. “Turkmenistan: In-Prison Deaths Of ‘Special Prisoners’ May Be Higher Than Expected.” 6.11.2007 Accessed on 28 January 2014.

[10] Ibid.