Turkmenistan is one of the world’s most closed and repressive countries. A small nation of approximately 5 million people, it is located in Central Asia and is bordered by the Caspian Sea to the west, Iran and Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the east, and Kazakhstan to the north. Identified by Freedom House as one of the World’s Most Repressive Regimes in 2009 (and almost every year prior), Turkmenistan is a country with no freedom of the press, an authoritarian government, and a President who is quickly building a cult of personality rivaling that of the previous “President for Life,” Niyazov, who died suddenly of a heart attack in December 2006.i Civil society has been all but destroyed by the repressive policies of the government of Turkmenistan. In 2003, the government rewrote its law on NGOs, effectively making it impossible for civil society organizations to function in the country. Simultaneously, it required all existing NGOs to re-register with the authorities. Virtually every civil society organization found its re-registration denied, resulting in the gutting of this sector. At present, 89 NGOs are registered with the government of Turkmenistan and almost all of them are
government of Turkmenistan. In 2003, the government rewrote its law on NGOs, effectively making it impossible for civil society organizations to function in the country. Simultaneously, it required all existing NGOs to re-register with the authorities. Virtually every civil society organization found its re-registration denied, resulting in the gutting of this sector. At present, 89 NGOs are registered with the government of Turkmenistan and almost all of them are government organized nongovernmental organizations, or GONGOs.ii A few brave individuals continue to work as civil society activists, but they have been forced to operate underground, anonymously and to be extremely careful to not draw attention to themselves or their colleagues. In recent years, the government has cracked down on environmental and other activists, arresting and imprisoning them, and making it impossible to work inside the country.
Crude Accountability’s Campaign
Crude Accountability advocates for greater transparency and accountability among institutions working in or with Turkmenistan in the energy and environment sector. We aim to impact decision-making in the US government, international financial institutions and among key western corporations interested in investment in Turkmenistan. By engaging directly with our Turkmen colleagues and raising key environmental and human rights issues on the international level, Crude Accountability keeps these issues on the table during critical decision-making regarding hydrocarbon development in Turkmenistan and throughout the south Caspian.
Follow the links below to learn about our activities in the following areas:
1. Defense of Turkmen Activists who are Living in a Repressive Environment
2. Monitoring Environmental Concerns related to Oil and Gas Development in Turkmenistan
3. “Energy Security,” Human Rights and Western Engagement with Turkmenistan / Nabucco Gas Pipeline
Read on to learn about:
• Crude Accountability’s October 2011 report on the Financial and Administrative Management of Turkmenistan’s Oil and Gas Sector The Private Pocket of the President (Berdymukhamedov): Oil, Gas and the Law (.pdf).
– Law of Turkmenistan On Hydrocarbon Resources (2008, .pdf, rus)
– Petroleum Law of Turkmenistan (1996, .pdf)
• Our April 2011 report Reform in Turkmenistan: A Convenient Facade, An Analysis of President Berdymukhammedov’s First Four Years in Power (.pdf).
• Who’s Who in Turkmenistan: Petroleum Company Dossiers. Published as a supplement to “Reform in Turkmenistan: A Convenient Facade”, these profiles provide information about the main oil and gas corporations operating, or planning to operate, in Turkmenistan. These dossiers are updated regularly, and Crude Accountability welcomes contributions from corporations, government, civil society and academia to this unique information portal.
• A Common Vision for the Advancement of Human Rights in Turkmenistan (November 2009, .pdf)
• Civil society correspondence with international financial institutions
• Civil society correspondence with the United States government
• Civil society correspondence with the government of Turkmenistan
• Crude Accountability correspondence with petroleum companies
• Our January 2009 report Turkmenistan’s Crude Awakening: Oil, Gas and Environment in the South Caspian (.pdf).
• Crude Accountability’s September 2007 report Environmental Risks in the Era of Hydrocarbon Development in Turkmenistan (.pdf).
Check out our photo galleries and map of Turkmenistan:
• Photo gallery: People of Turkmenistan
• Photo gallery: Landscape of Turkmenistan
• Oil and Gas Map of Turkmenistan (.pdf) This 11 x 17 inch map, in both English and Russian, represents Turkmenistan’s major oil and gas fields and transport infrastructure, including ports and pipeline routes.
For more information about Crude Accountability’s Turkmenistan campaign, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.