The Prove They Alive! campaign presents an updated report on the disappeared in Turkmenistan’s prisons.
This updated list documents 162 cases of enforced disappearances since 2002.
A substantial increase in the number of documented cases compared to the previous 2019 list (121 cases) is due to newly obtained and verified information on disappearances which occurred mainly between 2016 and 2018. They were not included in the previous list since we did not have sufficient data at the time.
At the moment, 97 out of 162 cases are cases of continuing disappearance. Of them, 72 cases are current (meaning that they are continuing enforced disappearances, and there is no reason to believe that these people have died, have been released or visited by relatives), and there is unconfirmed information (such as unconfirmed reports of five deaths) requiring further verification on 25 disappearances that may cause them to be taken off the list of current cases.
In addition to this, 65 cases of people subjected to enforced disappearances earlier have been taken off the list of current cases based on verified and reliable data: 29 died in custody, 10 were released, and 26 continue to serve their sentences but have been granted family visits and food parcels. There are reasons to believe that the authorities continue to cover up some of the deaths among the victims of enforced disappearances. Given the Turkmen authorities’ refusal to conduct an effective investigation, some of these cases can be considered extrajudicial executions under international law.
Cases in this report have been rigorously verified and confirmed. However, one must keep in mind that in the context of severe suppression of civil liberties and denial of access to the country for foreign human rights organizations and international observers, this list is inevitably incomplete. According to our estimates, the total number of victims of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan was in the order of several hundred three years ago. The estimated summary figures are lower now but remain high, testifying that enforced disappearances continue to be systematically practiced.
The updated report can be viewed and downloaded HERE.