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5 February 2019

TURKMENISTAN: 24 hours in airport, travel ban for Korans

Security personnel at Ashgabad Airport detained a woman working in Turkey bringing in Arabic Korans as gifts for relatives, questioning her for 24 hours. She was later banned from leaving Turkmenistan. Police are again forcibly shaving men under 40 with beards. Officers forced one victim to drink alcohol.

22 January 2019

TURKMENISTAN: New year, new jailed conscientious objector

With the 7 January one-year jailing of 18-year-old Azamatjan Narkulyev, 12 conscientious objectors – all Jehovah's Witnesses - are now jailed for refusing compulsory military service on grounds of conscience. No officials would comment on why, in defiance of United Nations calls, Turkmenistan jails these young men.

21 September 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Tenth jailed conscientious objector in 2018

Turkmenistan rejected a call at the UN Human Rights Council UPR to introduce an alternative to compulsory military service. The rejection came weeks after another conscientious objector, 18-year-old Serdar Atayev, was jailed for one year. Ten are known to have been jailed in 2018.

6 September 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Ninth jailed conscientious objector in 2018

With a third jailing in August, of 18-year-old Sokhbet Agamyradov, nine conscientious objectors are known to have been jailed in 2018. Forum 18 could not reach Human Rights Ombudsperson Yazdursun Gurbannazarova to ask why men unable to perform military service on grounds of conscience cannot do alternative service.

16 August 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Now eight jailed conscientious objectors

With two jailings in August, eight conscientious objectors aged 18 to 24 are now serving labour camp terms of one to two years. Forum 18 could not reach Human Rights Ombudsperson Yazdursun Gurbannazarova to ask why young men are jailed for refusing military service on grounds of conscience.

10 August 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Conscientious objector's maximum two-year jail term

Turkmenbashi City Court jailed 19-year-old Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector Mekan Annayev for the maximum two years for refusing compulsory military service on grounds of conscience. Five others have already been jailed in 2018, one in an apparent show trial. Two more young men face trial in August.

30 July 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Three more conscientious objectors jailed

Three Jehovah's Witnesses were jailed in July for one year each for refusing compulsory military service on grounds of religious conscience. They are among at least five conscientious objectors jailed so far in 2018, all of them Jehovah's Witnesses. Prosecutor's Offices are still investigating others.

27 July 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Appeals against 12-year jail terms fail

Five Muslims who met to study the works of theologian Said Nursi have failed to overturn their 12-year jail terms at Turkmenistan's Supreme Court. Four of the five are in the top-security prison at Ovadan-Depe, where prisoners have suffered torture and death from abuse or neglect.

10 July 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Last-ditch appeal against 12-year jail terms

On 11 July, Turkmenistan's Supreme Court is reportedly due to hear the appeal by five men jailed in August 2017 for 12 years each. The men were punished for meeting to study their faith using the works of theologian Said Nursi, the first such known prosecution in Turkmenistan.

23 March 2018

TURKMENISTAN: Jailings of conscientious objectors resume

Two conscientious objectors, both Jehovah's Witnesses, were jailed for one year in January. One had just completed a corrective labour sentence. These are the first jailings of conscientious objectors since 2014. No prisoners of conscience are known to have been freed under the Novruz amnesty.

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