Prove They Are Alive!
За демократию и права человека в Туркменистане  For Democracy and Human Rights in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan should confirm its commitment as a full member of the International Community

Delivered by Mr. Boris Shikhmuradov, Editor-in-chief, Warsaw, October, 2, 2013.

Dear Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are 57 participating States in OSCE, and there are 54 delegations participating in the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw this year. The three absentees are Monaco, San-Marino and Turkmenistan.

Although first two are identified as microstates for their small land areas and populations, they are both free countries with stable economies and higher standards in promoting and protecting human rights. I don't know why Monaco and San-Marino delegations are not here today but definitely not because they are afraid of being accused of killing people in jails.

The third missing microstate, or I would rather call it quasi-state, is Turkmenistan — the one that has the worst human rights records, unbelievable unemployment rate and highest child mortality level in OSCE region.

Let's face the truth, nobody is surprised with the empty Turkmenistan seat in this hall since we have already gotten used to the ignorance of Turkmen officials. But there is another surprise.

OSCE has 15 field missions in its region. And all of them are represented here in Warsaw except one. For some reason OSCE Center in Ashgabat considers it unnecessary to participate in Europe's largest human rights conference.

Rather than reviewing issues related to democratic lawmaking, independence of the judiciary, right to a fair trial and prevention of torture, Turkmenistan and OSCE Center in Ashgabat are preparing to co-host their own event which is called «Energy security and sustainable development - future of the OSCE».

They like talking about the future in Turkmenistan, but they have an inglorious debt behind them.

More than 10 years ago - in December 2002, 10 Participating States namely Germany, the United States, Austria, Canada, the United Kingdom, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, invoked OSCE's Moscow Mechanism in relation to Turkmenistan, to examine concerns arising out of investigations resulting from the reported attack on President Niyazov, and to investigate all matters relating to the conduct of the investigation.

The report was prepared in March 2003 and its first recommendation to the Turkmenistan Government read: to strengthen the guarantees inherent to the rule of law.

Hundreds of people were tortured and thrown to jails without any chance to a fair trial, legal assistance or even any kind of humane treatment. And today, 10 years later, the fate of most of these prisoners remains unknown.

The effective implementation of Moscow Mechanism was sacrificed by those dying of being polite, quoting President Vaclav Havel. Sometimes rule of law conflicts with energy security, and trading people for gas is no longer a rare case. People in Turkmenistan are suffering because there is absolutely no way to stop inhumanity and be polite at the same time.

I urge you to stop being polite. Turkmenistan should confirm its commitment as a full member of the International Community and the International Community should not excuse its members for not even being willing to hear anything regarding rule of law.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite the respective delegations of the OSCE to participate in the side event hosted by Crude Accountability and Civil Solidarity Platform in Meeting room 3 today at 13.00. We will talk about Turkmenistan, we will talk about real people and we will talk about what OSCE can do to help these people live.

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