In May 2018, Turkmenistan’s human rights record will be reviewed in the framework of the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a state peer review mechanism carried out under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council.
During the last UPR cycle in 2013, Turkmenistan received a total of 185 recommendations on different human rights issues, including enforced disappearances, prison conditions and torture, freedom of movement, freedom of the media and access to information. In its submission to the UPR , the “Prove They Are Alive!” campaign documented serious violations of international human rights standards and relevant Turkmen legislation on all these issues. Such violations persist in spite of Turkmenistan’s formal acceptance of the relevant recommendations from UPR 2013. The number of enforced disappearances, i.e. people held in full isolation for long periods is increasing; a growing number of deaths among the disappeared points at seriously inadequate detention conditions; bans to travel abroad are in place for thousands of people, and keep being imposed in a completely arbitrary and non-transparent fashion; access to information for ordinary citizens is curtailed by the regular dismantling of private satellite antennas. In other words, Turkmenistan ignored and keeps ignoring the recommendations it received during the previous UPR, as well as most of its other legal and political commitments in the field of human rights, including its own legislation.
The UPR involves a review of the human rights record of all UN member states on the basis of information provided by the states themselves, UN human rights bodies, as well as civil society organizations and other stake-holders. Reviews involve an inter-active exchange with the state under review by Human Rights Council members and observers and end with the adoption of an outcome report featuring recommendations to the state concerned.
We call for all participants to the review to note the failure of Turkmenistan to implement its obligations and to demand their implementation in the strongest possible terms.
Read and download the UPR submission on Turkmenistan by “Prove They Are Alive!” (PDF)