16. Beknazarov, Begench

Date of Birth:бекназаров 1969

Citizenship: Turkmen, Russian

Residence at time of arrest: Ashgabat. Begench Beknazarov was seized on May 17, 2005 after law enforcement forces found him hiding in a room hidden beneath the floor of an apartment in the Turkmen capital.[1]

Position when arrested: He was deputy division commander of the motorized infantry of the Turkmen Armed Forces.

Date of arrest: He was wanted since November 27, 2002, and was arrested on May 17, 2005, 30 months after the Prosecutor General issued a search.

Charges: He was charged in association with the alleged assassination attempt of Niyazov. [2],[3] In the first half of June 2005 he was tried in closed court on charges of conspiring to assassinate Niyazov. and was convicted of [4],[5]Article 275, Part 2; Article 14, Part 2; article 101.[6]

Sentence: He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Biography: Beknazarov was a Major in the Turkmen Military Forces, and Deputy Division Commander of the motorized infantry.[7] In 1990, he graduated from the Kiev Higher Military Command School of Frunze and trained in the Special Forces program. After graduation, he served in Ukraine (near Kharkov). In 1991 he returned to Turkmenistan with the rank of Lieutenant of the Armed Forces and served in the Army of Turkmenistan. In 1996 he studied at a military academy in Germany. In early October of 2002 he was transferred to the command post in a military unit in Kyzyl-Arvat (200 km from Ashgabat) with a demotion in rank.[8] According to unconfirmed sources, he also previously served in the KNB.[9] He is the nephew of Aina Shikhmuradova.

Beknazarov disappeared after the events of November 25, 2002. His parents say that early in the morning of the 26th of November, he was urgently called into work, after which he disappeared. On the 27th, the secret services began a search for him on the grounds of involvement in the alleged assassination attempt against Niyazov.[10]

The search for Beknazarov continued across the country and beyond. A black and white photograph, apparently taken from his personal file, was photocopied and posted in public places, including at the international airport, railway stations and bus stations.

President Niyazov reproached the Minister of Defense Redzhepbai Arazov for his disappearance: “If in your office, as I told you, every military unit commander would be carefully checked to the third degree, then there would not be any individuals such as Beknazarov.”[11]

Current situation: Unknown. His relatives were unable to visit him or obtain official trial documents. They do not know of his whereabouts.[12],[13]

Relatives arrested/harassed/detained: According to information received, several of Beknazarov’s friends and former colleagues were arrested together with him. They were all sentenced to various prison terms at the closed trial.[14]

On December 17, 2002, Beknazarov’s parents, Raisa and Amandurdy Beknazarov, who is disabled, and 19 year old sister Dzheren Beknazarova, were said to have been detained for 20 days at the pre-trial detention center (SIZO) of the Ministry of National Security building without formal charges in an attempt to obtain information about his whereabouts and to put pressure on him to turn himself in. The three were reported to have been physically and psychologically ill-treated in detention. Their passports were subsequently confiscated. Raisa Beknazarova was dismissed from her job, and Dzheren Beknazarova expelled from university.[15],[16] Other sources indicate that the three were held up for 2 days.[17] Amandurdy and Raisa were expelled from Ashgabat to Mary Province.

Aina Shikhmuradova, Boris Shikhmuradov’s sister-in-law, and her 15-year-old son Aman were detained and kept at the Ashgabat city police on February 21, 2003 for approximately 10 hours. Aman Shikhmuradov was reportedly present throughout the interrogation of his mother and witnessed how she was verbally abused, and threatened that she would be beaten if she did not disclose the whereabouts of her nephew Begench Beknazarov, who went into hiding following the November 2002 attack. The officers reportedly also wanted her to confess to complicity in a murder; Aina Shikhmuradova claimed she was innocent and that she did not even know the person who was allegedly murdered. At one point Aman Shikhmuradov was reportedly taken to another office and threatened that his mother would be put into prison and he would never see her or his father again. When they were released shortly after midnight Aman Shikhmuradov was reportedly in a state of shock and began to speak with a stammer.[18]

In addition, many family members were evicted from their homes and their property was confiscated. Most court verdicts handed down in December 2002 and January 2003 in relation to those implicated in the November 2002 attack included the confiscation of property. However, in many cases property was either confiscated or temporarily taken away weeks before the verdicts were pronounced, and reportedly severely affected family members.

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[1] The Moscow Times. “News in Brief: Turkmen Arrested.” 27.5.2005. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/news-in-brief/222978.html. Accessed on 20 March 2014.

[2] Human Rights Watch. World Report 2006: Events of 2005. 18.1.2006. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/01/17/world-report-2006. Accessed 20 March 2014.

[3] Amnesty International. “Amnesty International Report 2006 – Turkmenistan” 23.05.2014. http://www.refworld.org/docid/447ff7bb20.html. Accessed on 20 March 2014.

[4] Human Rights Watch. World Report 2006: Events of 2005. 18.1.2006. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/01/17/world-report-2006. Accessed 20 March 2014.

[5] Amnesty International. “Amnesty International Report 2006 – Turkmenistan” 23.05.2014. http://www.refworld.org/docid/447ff7bb20.html. Accessed on 20 March 2014.

[6] Federalniy Rozisk. “Beknazarov Begench Amandurdyievich” 07.03.2003. http://vroziske.com/person121049. Accessed on 20 March 2014.

[7] Human Rights Center Memorial. “Turkmenistan/Rossiya: Poka Ne Yasno, Oblegchit Li «Pokayaniye» Borisa Shikhmuradova Sud’bu Yego Rodstvennikov” 29.12.2002. http://www.memo.ru/d/219.html. Accessed on 19 February 2014.

[8] Broadcast on National Turkmen Television on 31.03.2003

[9] Deutsche Welle. “Turkmenistan: ‘okhota na lis’ prodolzhayetsya.” 08.01.2003. http://www.dw.de/туркменистан-охота-на-лис-продолжается/a-742332. Accessed on 19 February 2014.

[10] Human Rights Center Memorial. “Turkmenistan/Rossiya: Poka Ne Yasno, Oblegchit Li «Pokayaniye» Borisa Shikhmuradova Sud’bu Yego Rodstvennikov” 29.12.2002. http://www.memo.ru/d/219.html. Accessed on 19 February 2014.

[11] Tsentrasia.ru “V Turkmenii yeshche ne vse izmenniki poymany. Kapitan Beknazarov skryvayetsya v podpol’ye” 10.04.2003. http://www.centrasia.ru/newsA.php?st=1049953440. Accessed on 15 February 2014.

[12] Tsentrasia.ru “V Turkmenii yeshche ne vse izmenniki poymany. Kapitan Beknazarov skryvayetsya v podpol’ye” 10.04.2003. http://www.centrasia.ru/newsA.php?st=1049953440. Accessed on 15 February 2014.

[13] Tsentrasia.Ru. «Mayor Begench Beknazarov Prigovoren K Pozhiznennomu Za “Pokusheniye” Na S.Turkmenbashi” 7.06.2005 Http://Www.Centrasia.Ru/Newsa.Php?St=1118208120. Accessed On 15 February 2014.

[14]Tsentrasia.Ru. «Mayor Begench Beknazarov Prigovoren K Pozhiznennomu Za “Pokusheniye” Na S.Turkmenbashi” 7.06.2005 Http://Www.Centrasia.Ru/Newsa.Php?St=1118208120. Accessed On 15 February 2014.

[15] Amnesty International. “Amnesty International Report 2006 – Turkmenistan” 23.05.2014. http://www.refworld.org/docid/447ff7bb20.html. Accessed on 20 March 2014.

[16] Decaux, Emmanuel. “OSCE Rapporteur’s Report on Turkmenistan.” OSCE, 12.3.2003. http://www.osce.org/odihr/18372

[17] Human Rights Center Memorial. “Turkmenistan/Rossiya: Poka Ne Yasno, Oblegchit Li «Pokayaniye» Borisa Shikhmuradova Sud’bu Yego Rodstvennikov” 29.12.2002. http://www.memo.ru/d/219.html. Accessed on 19 February 2014.

[18] Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation. «Amnesty International:Turkmenistan-2003” http://www.tmhelsinki.org/en/modules/wfchannel/index.php?pagenum=4. Accessed on 19 February 2014.

Batyr Berdyev

1Ferghana.ru. Istochniki v Turkmenistane soobshchayut o provedennykh novykh arestakh.http://www.fergananews.com/articles/1191. 15.12.2002. (Last accessed on December 22, 2013)

2Ibid.

3Ibid.

4http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdf/cardoc/14402_CARDOC_11_INLAY_EN_7.pdf, page 121. (Last accessed February 8, 2014)

5Komarovsky, Leonid. (2003). Notes from his interview with Vitaliy Ponomarev of Human Rights Center Memorial.

6“BERDYYEV Batyr Atayevich.” http://www.centrasia.ru/person2.php?&st=1013880066. (Last accessed on December 18, 2013)

7Gundogar, 2012.

8Kompromat.ru. “Arkhipelag Turkmeniya Zapiski byvshego zaklyuchennogo kamer nomer 30 i 31 SIZO KNB Turkmenistana.” http://www.compromat.ru/page_13182.htm. Originally from Moscovsky Komsomolets, 03.06.2003. (Last accessed on December 19, 2013)

9Human Rights In Russia. “V Turkmenistane posle dlitel’nogo zaklyucheniya osvobozhdon vozmozhnyy uznik sovesti.” http://www.hro.org/node/5445, 13/05/2009.  (Last accessed on December 28, 2013)

10Ferghana.ru “ Prezident Turkmenii: Eks-ministry Boris Shikhmuradov i Batyr Berdyyev zhivy.” http://www.fergananews.com/news.php?id=7191, 26.09.2007.  (Last accessed on November 20, 2013)

11Decaux, Emmanuel. “OSCE Rapporteur’s Report on Turkmenistan.” OSCE, 12.3.2003. http://www.osce.org/odihr/18372. (Last accessed February 15, 2014)