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Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Turkmenistan

“You can take a person out of a village, but you can’t take a village out of a person”

“You can take a person out of a village, but you can’t take a village out of a person”

On May 13, some media outlets reported that Shokhrat Jumaev, the ambassador of Turkmenistan to France, was suspected of using violence against his wife and 19-year-old daughter. The embassy later denied the allegations, but last week turkmen.news reported that the ambassador's wife and daughter had applied for political asylum. Who gave him the right to break the law? Who gave him the right to use violence against women? - this is how compatriots began to comment on this news.

A student of the law faculty of one of the foreign institutes writes to us: “The Turkmen regime has brought up hundreds and thousands of officials who stupidly repeat everything that their leader does. They will live and work in the most democratic countries, wear civilized clothes and officially represent Turkmenistan abroad, and enjoy the benefits of this democracy. But their behavior towards their compatriots, even towards members of their family, including daughters, wives and mothers, will remain the same feudal". There is an expression: “You can take a person out of a village, but you cannot take a village out of a person".

Let us recall how the Turkmen officialdom solemnly presented the adoption of the second “National Plan for Ensuring Gender Equality for 2021-2025”. Let's dwell on each of the strategic directions of this plan and show examples of how the government implements the Laws.

The first point of the Plan is - “Further Improvement of Legislation”. Let us give examples of how implementation of the Law is understood in Turkmenistan. According to the law, citizens have the right to exchange their passports. On June 5, the authorities adopt the Law on Passports, according to which, in order to change a passport, one must wait for a Presidential Decree. That is, the regime concentrated in the hands of one person all the functions of the state. According to the Constitution, citizens have the right to freedom of movement. But Turkmenistan for no reason does not release thousands of citizens who want to leave the country.

Another example is related to Pygambergeldy Allaberdyev, against whom the authorities fabricated a case for dissent and sentenced him to 6 years. Under such conditions, can you be sure that the authorities are ready to improve the legislation? Maybe you need to learn to obey the Law first?

The second point of the plan is - “Ensuring Gender-Responsive Health Care”. Ashgabat continues to lie about the absence of cases of COVID-19 for the second year. How can you ensure something that, in principle, the government does not accept?

The third point of the plan is - “Promoting Equal Access to Education”. According to the Law, the right to education is one of the fundamental and inalienable constitutional rights of the citizens of Turkmenistan. Just one example: the leadership of Turkmen schools tested girls for pregnancy, threatening them with expulsion from school.

The fourth point of the plan is - “Preventing and responding to gender-based violence”. Let's take the case of Ambassador Jumaev or the harassment against the doctor Ismatullayeva. Both in the first and in the second case, the authorities took the position of complete denial of the problem.

The fifth point is - “Economic Empowerment of Women and Girls”. Due to the absence of these rights, the majority of Turkmen migrants are currently women. They are forced to perform the most labor-intensive, dirty work abroad, many of them have diplomas, but are forced to work as maids, laundresses, and nurses in order to feed their families. Turkmens are in shock - their girls, women are forced to engage in prostitution in order to survive. This has never happened in the history of Turkmenistan!

And the sixth - “Increasing the participation of women at all levels, including political and social aspects”. Even at the level of issuing driver's licenses, women are discriminated against. And remember the ban on hair coloring! About the political and social aspects. Where dissent is persecuted, there is no freedom of speech, opinion, movement, can one hope for some kind of expansion? Don't you think that this is a simple unsubscribe? Maybe first we need to completely stop persecuting those who defend their rights?

“You, woman, be silent!” - according to this principle, Turkmen officials treat all citizens, not only women, concludes in another letter to the THF, from Gerek, who graduated with honors from the capital's university, and now unemployed.

Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

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