Atageldi aga (Surname unknown)

Atageldi aga (Surname unknown)

Biography: Born in approximately 1963. Imam of an unregistered Sunni mosque in “Hitrovka” area in Ashgabat (according to another version, was dismissed from the post of Imam of the official mosque in the last years of Niyazov’s rule). Unofficially taught Islam to children. Was popular among Turkmen Muslims (video recordings of some of his sermons in the Turkmen language are currently available on the Internet). Lived in Ashgabat.

Arrest and conviction: Arrested in September 2008 – a few days after the armed incidents in the capital on September 10-13 (see http://www.fergananews.com/articles/5943 for more details). Charged with involvement in anti-state activities (conspiracy to take power, etc.). Convicted in 2008-2009 by Ashgabat city court under Art. 174, 175 and others of the CCT. Sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in a strict security colony. In 2009, the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan rejected an appeal, leaving the verdict unchanged. According to unconfirmed reports, around the same time, two of his brothers and his father, Shir-aga, were also convicted (in 2016 brothers continued to be imprisoned).

Current situation: According to the organization Forum18, after the verdict, was incommunicado (visits and packages were banned). He died in 2013 in a colony in the town of Seydi in Lebap Province. The body was not handed over to relatives (http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2218). A representative of the Turkmen diaspora in Russia confirmed information of the human rights organization, “Memorial” about the imam’s death in custody around 2013. According to the same source, the imam’s father died in prison in 2013-2014 at the age of more than 70 years.