Pressure on Independent Voices In Turkmenistan | Statement to the PC

United States nameplate in the Hofburg Congress Center's Neuer Saal, location of many OSCE Permanent Council sessions. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

The United States is deeply concerned about the September 4 death of Altymurad Annamuradov in Turkmenistan. Independent human rights activists are concerned that this was an act of retaliation by the Turkmen authorities against exiled activists, in this case exiled Turkmen dissident Chary Annamuradov, the brother of the deceased.

Altymurad was reportedly kidnapped and severely beaten by unknown assailants while his brother Chary was in detention in Belarus under a Turkmen government extradition request in connection with fraud charges filed in 2000. On September 14, 2016 Belarusian authorities released Chary Annamuradov and allowed him to return to Sweden, where he had previously been granted asylum in 2003.

We call upon the government of Turkmenistan to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the circumstances of Altymurad Annamuradov’s death and ensure that those responsible for this vicious killing are brought to justice.

We urge the Turkmen government to publicly condemn any attacks or threats of violence against members of the political opposition, civil society activists, or journalists and their family members, and to protect them from harm.

We remind Turkmenistan of its international obligations and OSCE commitments to protect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of everyone, regardless of political affiliation or personal views.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council, Vienna