Statement by Switzerland: Death of Mr. Tirkish Tyrmyev in custody in Turkmenistan

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1129th Meeting of the Permanent Council, 26 January 2017

Current Issue: Death of Mr. Tirkish Tyrmyev in custody in Turkmenistan

Statement by Switzerland

Mr. Chairman,

This statement is delivered on behalf of Canada, Iceland and Switzerland.

Our countries are concerned about reports of the death of the former head of the State Border Service of Turkmenistan, Mr. Tirkish Tyrmyev, in custody. Mr. Tyrmyev died in prison after being held in incommunicado detention for the past 15 years. We call on Turkmenistan’s authorities to investigate the circumstances of his death in a swift and comprehensive manner.

In this context, we would like to reiterate our deep concern about dozens of cases of enforced disappearance in Turkmenistan. Among the detainees, of whom there has been no sign of life for many years, are also two former Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Boris Shikhmuradov and Batyr Berdyev. We are furthermore concerned about the poor conditions in Turkmen prisons.

The visit by a delegation of foreign diplomats to a prison for juvenile detainees in December 2016, which Turkmenistan enabled, is a welcome first step towards creating transparency about detention conditions. We call on Turkmenistan to adhere to its international obligations and OSCE commitments in this regard and to implement the recommendations issued by the UN Committee against Torture on 7 December 2016.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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