Rejepdurdyev Shikhmurat

Biography:  Born in 1983 in Gubadag etrap of the Dashoguz velayat (former Baidak collective farm). While serving in the army, started reading namaz. Starting in 2005-06, he was regularly summoned to khakimlik (local administration) for questioning as a “Wahhabi.” In summer 2009, he moved to Saint Petersburg (Russia) where he entered Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical Academy. During vacations in the beginning of 2010 he traveled home for marriage. Upon arrival in the Ashgabat airport, officers of the Ministry of National Security (MNS) took away his passport. He traveled home after spending a day in Ashgabat. Soon a ban on traveling outside of Turkmenistan was imposed on him.

Arrest and conviction: In 4-5 months he was summoned to the MNS Department in Dashoguz and arrested there. On the same day a search was conducted in his home; three gun ammunitions were discovered in the basement which were planted, according to his relatives. In summer 2010 he was convicted by the court of Ilialinsky etrap along with several local residents, charged in “Wahhabism”. Sentenced to 3.5 years for illegal possession of ammunition and participation in an illegal religious group. After the sentence entered into force, he was transferred to Lebap velayat where he spent half a year or a year. On one occasion, his mother went to see him but was denied the visit due to quarantine. He was able to call his family once and send one letter. After that he was moved to Ovadan Depe There was no more letters or visits. Parcels were allowed, however (they were accepted in the building of the Ministry of the Interior in Ashgabat). A Muslim who was serving his term in Ovadan Depe saw him there, and upon his release visited his family and provided this information. After the end of his term, he was not released; a new prison term was added. There is no information on what charges and for how long he was sentenced for the second time. According to unconfirmed information, in the summer of 2016 he was transferred to the Abdushukur prison in Chardzhou.