Helsinki on the Hill Podcast on Disappeared in Turkmenistan

Prove They Are Alive! Campaign discussed the tragedy of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan for the Helsinki on the Hill podcast.

Kate Watters of the Prove They Are Alive! campaign joined the podcast to discuss the plight of people who have disappeared into Turkmenistan’s  prison system, as well as the current situation in Turkmenistan and the steps that are being taken to encourage the authorities to stop these gross human rights violations.  

Helsinki Commission Senior Policy Advisor Janice Helwig also joined the conversation from Vienna, Austria.

The conversation has touched on some of the specific cases of enforced disappearances, as well as described some of the campaign’s successes and challenges, specifically addressing the issue of those disappeared, whose prison terms had expired or were expiring soon. 

“There’s a number of cases – there are over a dozen cases of individuals who should have either been recently released or should be released in – well, the next month, in 2020, and in 2021”, said Watters about the disappeared with fulfilled  formal sentences. 

“That’s an area where the international community can play a really important role to say: we know these people have served their time or have almost served their time, let them out”, adds Watters to highlight the role of international organization in these dire circumstances.

Full transcript of the podcast is availiable for view and download here:

The podcast was hosted by Alex Tiersky, Senior Policy Advisor, Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“Helsinki on the Hill” is a podcast series hosted by the U.S. Helsinki Commission on human rights and security in Europe and beyond. The Helsinki Commission, formally known as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, promotes human rights, military security, and economic cooperation in 57 countries in Europe, Eurasia, and North America.