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International Committee in Defense of Andrey Zatoka

Andrey Zatoka, environmentalist and member of the Council of the International Socio-Ecological Union, was detained on December 17, 2006 in the city of Tashauz (Turkmenistan) and charged with “petty hooliganism.” He was later accused of illegal possession of weapons and poisonous substances.

Taking into account the fact that appeals from representatives of several hundred civil society organizations from many countries and the official concerns of official representatives of Russia, the United States, Great Britain and other countries have received no substantive response from the government of Turkmenistan; expressing our concern that Zatoka’s case is a continuation of the campaign to eradicate any heterodoxy in that Central Asian country; and being profoundly concerned about the threat to the life and health of A. Zatoka, we, the undersigned, create the International Public Committee in Defense of Andrey Zatoka.

The Committee intends to initiate, organize and assist activities carried out in defense of and for the rapid release of Andrey.

We appeal to civil society in different countries, international and intergovernmental organizations, and leaders of nations cooperating with the Government of Turkmenistan to support the campaign in defense of Andrey Zatoka.

Co-Chairmen of the Committee:

Kaisha Atakhanova, EcoForum of Nongovernmental Organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Svyatoslav Zabelin, International Socio-Ecological Union, Moscow

Oleg Tsaruk, Member of the Global Coordinating Committee of RIOD (the International NGO Network on Desertification) and Chair of RIOD-Central Asia Coordinating Committee

Aleksey Yablokov, Advisor to IUCN for Central and Northern Asia and Eastern Europe, Moscow

Committee Secretary:

Yulia Morozova, Center for Environmental Politics of Russia, Moscow

Committee Members:

Firuza Abdurakhimova, UNEPCOM-Tajikistan

Liudmila Alekseeva, Moscow Helsinki Group

Rachel Denber, Human Rights Watch, USA

Yuri Dzhibladze, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Moscow

Yulia Goreleva, Association for Environmental Tourism, Moscow

Yusup Kamalov, Union for the Defense of the Amudarya and Aral, Uzbekistan

Askhat Kayumov, Ecocenter “Dront,” Nizhniy Novgorod

Victoria Kopeykina, CIS Alliance “Za biobezopasnost,’” Moscow

Yulia Kuleshova, “Prozrachnyi mir,” Moscow

Vladimir Kuznetsov, Russian National Committee of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Moscow

Alexander Nikitin, “Bellona,” St. Petersburg

Dmitrii Rybakov, Association of the Greens of Karelia, Petrozavodsk

Sergey Sharapenko, “Pechenegi” Kharkov, Ukraine

Eric Sievers, USA

Sergey Solyanik, Green Salvation, Kazakhstan

Farid Tukhbatullin, Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights

Kate Watters, Crude Accountability, USA

Vladimir Zakharov, International Socio-Ecological Union, Moscow

Evgenii Zhovtis, Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law


Note: For information about the case of A. Zatoka and the work of the Committee, please go to Contact for organizational questions: Yulia Morozova, Committee Secretary: +7 (495) 952 80 19,