April 18th, 2023
Crude Accountability and the Prove They Are Alive! campaign have submitted recommendations for the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Turkmenistan. The recommendations address the ongoing issue of enforced disappearances, which the Turkmen government has used to torture and intimidate its citizens for over two decades.
The Prove They Are Alive! campaign has documented 162 cases of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan, 96 of which are ongoing. Of those, 71 are current cases, meaning that the individuals are still incarcerated and without contact with the outside world. The government of Turkmenistan has also been accused of inhumane treatment, degrading detention conditions, and denial of medical assistance to those imprisoned in the Turkmen prison system.
The government of Turkmenistan has not addressed recommendations related to the issue of enforced disappearances, which were submitted by the Prove They Are Alive! campaign during the third cycle of the UPR in September 2017 or the recommendations put forth by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review for Turkmenistan in September 2018.
Crude Accountability’s recommendations for Turkmenistan’s fourth UPR cycle include the following:
- Immediately and unconditionally release those prisoners who have completed their terms and offer reparations to them and their families.
- Immediately and unconditionally cease the practice of enforced disappearances, allowing prisoners visitation, receipt of letters and packages, access to medical care, and access to legal counsel, in line with the amended Code of Criminal Procedure and the obligations undertaken by Turkmenistan within the Universal Periodic Review.
- If any individual on the disappeared list has died, provide family members with the death certificate and location of the remains.
- Provide immediate access to Turkmen prisons, including the high-security Ovadan Depe prison, to independent observers such as the ICRC, relevant mandate holders of UN Special Procedures, human rights NGOs, and other authoritative international bodies such as the OSCE/ODIHR and facilitate a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
“The UPR is an opportunity to highlight a country’s failure to comply with international human rights standards and to ask for its compliance. This UPR cycle highlights, yet again, Turkmenistan’s inhumane and illegal human rights violations,” says Kate Watters, Crude Accountability executive director. “It is high time for Turkmenistan’s government to abide by the international standards to which it has signed on through its membership in the United Nations.”
Crude Accountability and the Prove They Are Alive! campaign urges the government of Turkmenistan to unconditionally follow the recommendations and to restore justice to the victims of enforced disappearances and their relatives. The government of Turkmenistan should comply with international norms and regulations and demonstrate clear and meaningful steps to combat the issue of enforced disappearances.
We call on the international community to join us in demanding an immediate stop to the practice of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan.
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