Demand that Turkmenistan Free Political Prisoner

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Target: President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov

Goal: Free political prisoner Geldimurat Nurmuhammedov from forced detention.

Demand that Turkmenistani President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov release former Culture and Sport minister, Geldimurat Nurmuhammedov from a drug rehabilitation center in Northern Turkmenistan. Nurmuhammedov was detained and sent to the center against his will and will be held for up to six months. Amnesty International has learned that Mr. Nurmuhammedov may be subject to forced medical treatment during his imprisonment at the rehab center.

The government in the capital, Ashgabat, has a spotty record when it comes to human rights abuses. Amnesty International has received reports that harassment, arbitrary imprisonment, and torture of political opponents is rather commonplace. As a member of the United Nations, Turkmenistan has an obligation to live up to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which ensures the civil rights of a populace.

The detention of the minister is likely due to critical comments he made on Radio Free Europe in December of 2011. Nurmuhammedov stated, ‘In my opinion, concepts such as human rights, democracy, and fair elections have been buried’ in Turkmenistan. He also went on to criticize the one-party system that dominates Turkmenistani government. Bureaucratic hurdles in Turkmenistan make it so that the ruling party is the only one that is legally allowed to operate in the country. This criticism led to the shuttering of his family’s construction business in 2011 and now his abduction by government forces in the capital on October 5th.

Sign this petition and demand that the government in Turkmenistan release Geldimurat Nurmuhammedov. By releasing this political prisoner, Turkmenistan can show the international community that it is serious about changing its record on civil and human rights. Continuing to harass and intimidate political opposition must lead to international condemnation and sanctions against the government.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Berdymukhamedov,

The detention of Geldimurat Nurmuhammedov must end. You must ensure that Mr. Geldimurat is not subjected to forced medical treatment or torture of any kind. Your government has an obligation to live up to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which ensures the freedom of expression and association of your citizens. By imprisoning those who oppose your government, you are clearly stating to the international community that you have no intention of honoring your commitments.

We demand that that you immediately release the political prisoner, Geldimurat, Nurmuhammedov. We also insist that you respect your international commitments and guarantee the civil rights of all your citizens. By establishing more political parties within your country’s political system, the citizens of your country will be more content with their representation. This will also help the international community view your government in a more favorable light, leading to greater economic opportunities. We implore you to do the right thing for your country.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Public Domain Image

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69 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
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