Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1994 - Turkmenistan, 1 January 1994, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a9f628.html [accessed 26 May 2013]
This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
At least five government opponents were detained briefly by police to prevent them meeting visiting foreign dignitaries; they were prisoners of conscience. A government opponent detained on criminal charges was a possible prisoner of conscience. At least one person was believed to have been executed. A national of Tadzhikistan was forcibly repatriated: he was detained and reportedly tortured after his return to Tadzhikistan. At least three opposition political activists were taken into police custody on 20 April and held for several hours to prevent them attending a meeting to discuss human rights with a delegation from the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe. Nurberdi Nurmamedov and Ak-Mukhammed Velsapar of the non-violent opposition Agzybirlik organization, both former prisoners of conscience (see Amnesty International Report 1993), and Murad Divanayev, of the unregistered opposition Democratic Party, were arrested at their homes in the capital, Ashgabat, and held at police stations for the duration of the scheduled meeting. On 18 August Nurberdi Nurmamedov, Aman Goshayev (also an Agzybirlik member) and Mukhamedmurat Salamatov, a former editor of an independent newspaper, were held in police custody for the duration of a brief visit to Ashgabat by a US congressman. Four Agzybirlik members - Ak-Mukhammed Velsapar, Khudayberdi Khalli, Yusup Kadyrov and Mamed Sakhatov - were arrested and held briefly for questioning after they met the congressman. All were prisoners of conscience. In August Karadzha Karadzhayev was arrested on charges of embezzlement and slander which unofficial sources claimed were fabricated to punish him for opposition activities. He was tried in December and sentenced to three years' imprisonment, but was immediately released under an amnesty. At least one person was believed to have been executed in 1993 for murder. Mirbobo Mirrakhimov, a broadcasting executive who had fled Tadzhikistan, was arrested in January in Ashgabat, reportedly by Turkmen law enforcement officials. He was forcibly returned to Tadzhikistan. He was detained upon arrival in Tadzhikistan and was reported to have been severely beaten (see Tadzhikistan entry). Amnesty International called on the government headed by President Saparmurad Niyazov to stop placing government opponents in short-term detention to prevent them exercising their fundamental human rights. It sought further information about the charges against Karadzha Karadzhayev. The organization continued to urge the authorities to abolish the death penalty. In March Amnesty International wrote to the Minister of Internal Affairs expressing concern about the forcible return of Mirbobo Mirrakhimov to Tadzhikistan. In November Amnesty International published a report, Turkmenistan: A summary of concerns about prisoners of conscience, ill-treatment and the death penalty.