International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Human Rights Council/Turkmenistan
UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW OF TURKMENISTAN
23 December 2008 - At the occasion of the review of Turkmenistan on 9 December, in the framework of the third session of the Universal Periodic Review the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has welcomed that many delegations who took part in the interactive dialogue with Turkmenistan, have raised concerns such as the limitation of the freedom of religion and expression, the minority rights, the situation of human rights defenders and journalists, highlighted by domestic human rights activists as well as FIDH for many years (1).
FIDH has noted with deep concern that the Turkmen delegation has ignored important questions that were raised, and has refused to make any public commitment to address notably the persecutions suffered by journalists and human rights defenders in Turkmenistan.
FIDH deplores the fact that the Government has failed to make any concrete proposal to put an end to the pattern of restrictions of freedom of action imposed on human rights defenders
and to cease all other forms of harassment against them as requested by many delegations during the UPR. This call follows as well the recommendation of the Secretary General’s made in 2006 (2) « to stop arrests, detentions and other forms of intimidation of human rights defenders and other civil society organisations ».
Therefore, FIDH calls upon the government of Turkmenistan to step up its efforts to end discriminations against national minorities, as promised by the Government during the review and to take immediate steps to accept standing invitations to all special procedures in compliance with the public proclamation of an « open door policy with international bodies » by Ms. Shirin Akhmedova, member of the delegation and Director of the Institute for Human Rights & Democracy Under the President of Turkmenistan, and to implement the recommendations made by Special Rapporteurs within the shortest possible delay, before the adoption of the UPR outcome in March 2009.
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(1) See « Alternative Report on the Human Rights Situation in Turkmenistan for the Universal Periodic Review », www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Alternative_report_Turk_UPR_eng.pdf
(2) Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of human rights in Turkmenistan (A/61/489), 3 October 2006