Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy

The new report by Crude Accountability focuses on corruption and kleptocracy in Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most closed and repressive countries.

The image is the cover page of the report, Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy. It shows Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy

Crude Accountability is proud to present the new report, Turkmenistan: A Model Kleptocracy, which attempts to fill the void in reporting on corruption in Turkmenistan by looking at how much the Turkmen government is earning, how the revenue is managed, and what the money is spent on. 

The comprehensive report examines the corrupt legacy established under the country’s first president, Saparmurat Niyazov, who created the system of kleptocracy that continues under his successor, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. The report traces key government officials and individual members of Berdymukhamedov’s family in an effort to fill in the blanks about those who profit from the country’s vast natural gas reserves. 

The report also looks at western businesses that profit from one of the most repressive regimes in the world by establishing personal links with Turkmen government officials.

Finally, the report analyzes the impacts of corruption and kleptocracy on human rights, including one of the most heinous human rights abuses committed by Turkmenistan’s government, the crime of enforced disappearances. 

“Turkmenistan, in part because it is so closed and difficult to research, has long been viewed as a sort of fiefdom of eccentric leaders—laughable, ridiculous, absurd. The truth, however, is much more insidious and tragic,” says Kate Watters, Executive Director of Crude Accountability. 

The Prove They Are Alive! Campaign, of which Crude Accountability is a founding member, has documented over one hundred cases of enforced disappearances.

“As our research shows, the human rights abuses taking place in Turkmenistan are not happening in a vacuum. International actors—corporations, governments, financial institutions, and intergovernmental bodies—engage regularly with the Turkmen leadership. Whether by turning a blind eye or by participating in the corrupt and kleptocratic practices that enrich and empower the country’s elite, these international bodies are complicit in the continuation and strengthening of corruption, kleptocracy, human rights abuses, and impoverishment in Turkmenistan,” says Kate Watters. 

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Crude Accountability is an environmental and human rights nonprofit organization that works with communities in the Caspian and Black Sea regions, who battle threats to local natural resources and the negative impacts on their health. Crude Accountability works on the local, national, regional, and international levels in partnership with active communities and organizations committed to a just and environmentally sustainable world. 

Since 2013, Crude Accountability has been a founding member of the Prove They Are Alive! campaign. The campaign works to protect the rights of a large number of detainees serving long-term sentences in Turkmen prisons, about whom no information is available since their sentence, and to halt the practice of enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan´s prisons.

The report is available online to view and download HERE (PDF)

Additional Information:

Kate Watters

Tel.: 540.252.2592
kate@nullcrudeaccountability.org