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За демократию и права человека в Туркменистане  For Democracy and Human Rights in Turkmenistan
Год     месяц    
08.11.2017, 21:53 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Struggling Turkmenistan Lowers Limit For ATM Withdrawals Abroad

Authorities in Turkmenistan have reduced the limit on cash withdrawals from ATMs abroad for the third time this year, an apparent attempt to keep more money in the Central Asian country amid an economic downturn.

The State Bank of Foreign Economic Activity (TDDYIB) announced on November 6 that clients traveling or residing abroad can now withdraw no more than USD 50 or its equivalent per day from ATMs in other countries.

The new regulation also restricts the size of transactions abroad to USD 200.

The main foreign destination for Turkmen citizens is Turkey, which is one of the few countries where they can travel without a visa. Some go there to find work, with cultural and linguistic similarities making it easier.

In March, the TDDYIB cut the daily limit on withdrawals abroad from USD 1,000 to USD 250. In October, it was reduced to USD 100 per day.

Tightly controlled Turkmenistan's economy is struggling, with government revenues depleted due in part to unsuccessful energy deals and low world prices for natural gas, the Central Asian country's main export.

There have been shortages of staple foods in shops, and the government has decreased or abandoned subsidies on prices of household needs such as water, gas, and electricity.

The manat currency fell abruptly on the black market in October, from 7.5 manats to 9 manats to the U.S. dollar. The fixed official rate has stood at 3.5 manats per dollar since 2015.

Government critics and human rights groups say President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has suppressed dissent and made few changes in the restrictive country since he came to power after the death of autocrat Saparmurat Niyazov in 2006.

Like Niyazov, Berdymukhammedov long relied on subsidized prices for basic goods and utilities to help maintain his grip on power.

06.11.2017, 19:25 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
HRW Says Exiled Rights Activist's Mother Targeted In Turkmenistan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned an attack on the family home of an exiled Turkmen human rights activist in the Central Asian nation's northern city of Dashoguz, where his 76-year-old mother lives alone.

In a statement on November 6, HRW urged Turkmen officials to publicly condemn and thoroughly investigate the attack.

According to the statement, unknown assailants threw stones early on October 28 at the apartment of Khalida Izbastinova, the mother of Farid Tukhbatullin, who is the leader of a prominent exiled human rights group called the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights.

The assailants broke the apartment windows and Izbastinova's telephone landline was cut off. Izbastinova was not injured, but emergency medical workers called to the scene by neighbors found that she had elevated blood pressure.

«This attack is almost certainly not random,» said Rachel Denber, HRW's deputy Europe and Central Asia director.

«It falls at a time when the government has been keeping activists under especially tight surveillance. The authorities can’t get to Tukhbatullin, so it’s possible they’re looking for other ways to put him on notice,» Denber said.

Tukhbatullin was expelled from Turkmenistan in 2003 after spending four months in prison on politically motivated charges and received refugee status in Austria later that year.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has ruled with an iron hand, tolerating little dissent since he came to power after the death of autocrat Saparmurat Niyazov in 2006.

Год     месяц