If citizens find themselves in a difficult situation abroad due to the COVID-19 epidemic, what are other states doing? That's right, they help their compatriots in every possible way. And the states that have signed the relevant agreements have a lot of opportunities. The consular officers of these powers, first of all, organize export flights, take care of the health of a compatriot who suddenly falls ill, visit hospitals, arrange special flights for seriously ill patients, help with the purchase of tickets and take compatriots stuck at the border home. If someone dies abroad, the relevant embassy will organize the removal of the deceased to their homeland.
What is Turkmenistan doing?
Now it's not about problems with passports, visas and others. Let us remember how our compatriots were stuck in India for many months. Only the persistent appeals of activists, the media and simply not indifferent citizens prompted the international community to put pressure on Turkmenistan. In the end, people were able to return to their homeland. And this is not an isolated case. In general, the airline "Turkmenistan" began to organize export flights only in August 2020. These flights are not enough, not everyone manages to get on the planes. Turkmen officials draw up lists of people leaving in a non-transparent manner.
And now let's dwell on the problem, which, in theory, should be very close to the president of Turkmenistan, if only because he is a doctor by education. We are talking about illnesses and deaths of compatriots abroad.
On May 1, 29-year-old Elman Gylyjev, who suffered from cancer, died in Mary. Relatives believe that he could have been saved if the Migration Service had given him permission in time to go to Iran for treatment. But the Constitution of Turkmenistan states that every citizen of the country has the right to life and freedom to exercise it.
If you remember, about 60 people who died last spring in Turkey were buried in a foreign land. Turkmenistan did not respond in any way to the requests of relatives to return the bodies of the dead to their homeland. By the way, in the Sariyer district of Istanbul, on the territory of the Kilyos Musevi Cemetery, there is a separate part called "kimsesizler" - orphans. This is where the Turkmens are buried, the president of whom appropriated the title of Arkadag - Patron.
The other day, a citizen of Turkmenistan, Annagul Kasymova, born in 1963, died in Istanbul, who was not admitted to intensive care due to lack of insurance. We know that these 60 guys and Kasymova were not orphans, they have hundreds of relatives. They also had the right to bury their relatives in their homeland, and not in a foreign land in a plot for orphans.
THF received a message about the death of 4 Turkmen citizens: 1 girl and three young men. In Russia: a 26-year-old student from Turkmenistan, who studied in Voronezh, Muhammet Pirzhikov, died. Earlier, a student who worked at a construction site died in Elista. Since Turkmenistan does not solve the problem with bank transfers abroad, students abroad experience significant material difficulties. At the end of April, Gulsenem Galabekova, a Turkmen student at the local Institute of Management, Business and Law, passed away in Essentuki.
In Uzbekistan, in Bukhara, a student of the Pedagogical College B. Sultieva committed suicide due to the fact that she lost financial support from her mother due to her death. And the girl was not allowed to go to Turkmenistan to attend her mother's funeral. And in Belarus, in the city of Grodno, a student from Turkmenistan died.
All of them had problems not because of Turkey, Russia, Belarus or Uzbekistan. These people had been deprived of the right to life because of the Turkmen regime, which has completely withdrawn from helping its compatriots.
Why should journalists, human rights activists, activists sound the alarm about this every time? Turkmen legislation provides for the provision of assistance to its citizens, wherever they are. So, where are the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, education, where is the Ombudsman, travel companies, where, after all, are the supervisory authorities of Turkmenistan?
So, after paraphrasing the Turkmen proverb “Let the people exist, but let them be deprived of civil rights”, the authorities have taken up something completely different: they are strengthening the Arkadag personality cult.
Turkmen Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights