OPEN LETTER OF TADJIGUL BEGMEDOVA TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA To the President of the United States of America George W. Bush
Dear Mr. President,
I, Tadjigul Begmedova, appeal to you with the request for the help. My husband and the father of my children Annadurdy Khadjiev has been arrested by the authorities of Bulgaria at the request of the authorities of Turkmenistan in the city of Varna on the 19th of February 2007. Annadurdy has been in the opposition to the Turkmen government and in the leadership of democratic oppositional Movement WATAN for many years. I myself founded the first Turkmen human rights organization Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation in 2003.
We have been living in Bulgaria since 2001. In 2002 the Government of Saparmurat Niyazov already tried to get the extradition of our family from Bulgaria on the false charge of money embezzlement from the Central Bank of Turkmenistan. After the heavy struggle we managed to prove the false nature of these charges. The Bulgarian court recognized that we have been persecuted on political grounds.
Annadurdy’s family has severely suffered from authorities of Turkmenistan. His sister, the correspondent of Radio Liberty in Turkmenistan, Ogulsapar Muradova has been unlawfully arrested and killed in Niyazov’s prison in September, 2006. Ogulsapar’s 3 children remain under constant threats and the tight control of the authorities. In the same year his brother Sapardurdy has been sentenced to long-term imprisonment for his human rights activity and we still don’t know where authorities contain him and whether he is alive.
Hastiness of the Bulgarian police and the judicial authorities and that open neglect, with which they manipulate their own laws, brings me to the conclusion that their actions are led by the political orders. Bulgaria entered the European Union on the 1st of January of 2007, but after many efforts to defend our rights I have a feeling that I am still in the totalitarian country. Therefore I do not see any hope in my appeal to the Bulgarian government.
I presume that the governments of the western countries, including the United States, have an interest in cooperation with the Turkmenistan government. I clearly see that political interests often dominate over human rights, in my human rights activity I often encounter it. I only can not accept that my family should pay our lives for such interests. The silence of your Government now means unspoken support of the regime in Ashgabat and of the Bulgarian authorities in unlawful prosecution of my husband. I ask you to break the silence.
Tadjigul Begmedova Varna, February 25, 2007