In Turkmenistan there can be no talk of any rule of law or transparent legal proceedings. Judges and prosecutors are appointed by the president, and then they convict people disliked by the regime on trumped-up criminal cases. Subsequently, officials do not bear any responsibility for such persecutions. If the famous heroine of oriental fairy tales, Shakhrezade, had read the criminal cases that Turkmen investigators and prosecutors write, she would have drowned herself. Only Turkmen security forces can make up such things: nothing but assumptions, conjectures, insinuations and substantiation of accusations based on the bias and unprofessionalism of officials.
The regime continues to throw those who try to defend their rights to a fair trial into prison. This happened with Kh.Ismatullaeva, M.Dushemov, P.Allaberdiyev, N.Khalykov, with hundreds of victims of the Niyazov regime. The company “Prove they are alive” annually updates their lists, but the authorities criminally hush up the problem. Dictator Niyazov did this, Berdymukhamedov the elder did it, and now Berdymukhamedov the younger does it.
The decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee are not implemented and not a single official is held accountable for the fact that using their official position they violate fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution and international agreements.
The long-term familiar attitude of representatives of the OSCE and the European Union to this state of affairs in Turkmenistan has led to the absence of the rule of law in our country. Therefore, raider seizures of businesses, property, and apartments of citizens by officials and relatives of the president remain unpunished.
For 20 years I have been observing from the inside what is happening in the EU and I see the degradation of the rule of law in this union as well. Mr. Orbant (Prime Minister of Hungary) sees that Turkmen dictators from a country where there is no rule of law were received by Merkel, Sarkozy, and are received in Brussels, Rome and Vienna. So why shouldn't he try to abandon the rule of law in the EU? And here the result is obvious. European officials are transferring the harmful practice of ignoring human rights and the rule of law onto their territory. Figuratively speaking, gentlemen from the EU, you are reaping what you sow in Central Asia.
For many years, activists have been proposing to introduce sanctions against Turkmen autocrats, but they are met with your excuses. The ex-wife of dictator Niyazov is investing hundreds of millions of dollars of unknown origin into the German economy, buying real estate in Berlin. No reaction from Your side. And now, without a trial, the assets of Russian oligarchs have been frozen. Where is the rule of law here? If you apply sanctions to some accomplices of the autocratic regime, then be so kind as to apply them to others.
Why is the EU not eager to investigate the origin of the millions of dollars of capital of relatives of the Berdymukhamedov family? Be principled to the end. Strong political will will allow not only mentoring, but also the implementation of democratic values in practice.
Many thanks to Poland for organizing this event, but I think that this conference should have been organized by the European Union, thereby showing principled political will.
Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights