AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 

URGENT ACTIONS

 

3rd February 2007

PUBLIC                                                                                                   AI Index: EUR 61/007/2007        

                                                                                                                        1 February 2007

UA 24/07                                            Medical concern                         

TURKMENISTAN                               Geldy Kyarizov (m), aged 56

Geldy Kyarizov is believed to be in extremely poor health and in urgent need of medical treatment. He has been in prison for over five years, following a trial that was not in line with international fair trial standards.

Geldy Kyarizov, former director of the Government Association Turkmenatlary (Turkmen Horses) and an internationally renowned breeder of Akhalteke horses, has been detained since 30 January 2002. He has suffered two heart attacks and a stroke in detention and suffered from pneumonia. He has been denied appropriate medical treatment for these conditions, which left him weak and debilitated.

On 29 January 2007, Geldy Kyarizov’s wife Yulia Serebryannik visited him in Turkmenabad prison in the eastern Lebap region. After the visit, she told a relative, “He is a skeleton with skin. His weight now [is] 45-50 kilograms. You will never recognize him. He is like a walking dead body.” Geldy Kyarizov is reportedly severely malnourished and weak. .

Geldy Kyarizov's wife, a doctor, had previously brought him medication in detention. However, his whereabouts were unknown between September 2006 and January 2007, and his health has suffered as he has not received this medication from the authorities. Geldy Kyarizov may be in grave danger if he does not receive adequate treatment immediately.

Geldy Kyarizov was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by Ashgabat city court on 4 April 2002 on charges including “abuse of office” and “negligence”. It is alleged that the charges against Geldy Kyarizov were fabricated, and that he may have been charged arbitrarily after falling out of favour with the late President, Saparmurad Niyazov. It is believed that Geldy Kyarizov was caught up in the politically motivated clampdown on senior government officials carried out by the Niyazov regime. As part of the clampdown numerous officials were demoted or dismissed from their workplaces, and scores were imprisoned.

While Geldy Kyarizov was in pre-trial detention, officers of the Ministry of National Security (MNS) reportedly pressurized him to “confess” to the charges. For example, three officers reportedly tortured a detainee in Geldy Kyarizov’s presence by giving the detainee electric shocks to his genitals. He was reportedly frequently interrogated during this period for 24 hours without a break.

Geldy Kyarizov “disappeared” in September 2006. He was reportedly transferred to another detention facility but his family was not informed of his whereabouts. On 18 September an official from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reportedly informed Geldy Kyarizov's wife that he was not registered as an inmate in any detention facility run by his Ministry. On 13 December Geldy Kyarizov’s family was visited by a man who introduced himself as an MNS official but did not present any identification. He reportedly told them that Geldy Kyarizov had been tortured to death. It was only at the end of January 2007 that his family found out that he was still alive and transferred back to Turkmenabad prison, where he had previously been detained.

 

1st February 2012

UA 35/12         3 February 2012         URGENT ACTION                     EUR 61/001/2012

FORMER PRISONER UNABLE TO GET MEDICAL CARE

TURKMENISTAN

Geldy Kyarizov (m)

Geldy Kyarizov, a horse breeder who used to work for the government of Turkmenistan but fell out of favour with the authorities, is in very poor health and needs urgent specialist medical treatment abroad. However, he and his family members are reportedly on a ‘black list’ and unable to leave the country.

Amnesty International has received credible reports that Geldy Kyarizov is currently suffering from serious heart illness, enlarged liver and high blood pressure, as well as gallbladder and gastric problems and needs access to urgent specialist medical treatment. Amnesty International fears that if he does not access the necessary specialist medical treatment soon, his life may be in danger. Reportedly, such specialist medical treatment is not available to him in Turkmenistan. In similar cases Turkmenistani residents seek medical treatment abroad. However, he and his family members are believed to be on a ‘black list’ and therefore unable to leave the country. His wife, sister-in-law and daughter attempted to leave Turkmenistan in 2006, 2008 and 2010 respectively but were denied exit. Amnesty International is also concerned that Geldy Kyarizov and his family continue to be harassed by the authorities: they are currently under surveillance; his wife and sister-in-law have been unable to find employment apparently because of being related to him.

Geldy Kyarizov used to be the director of state-run Association Turkmen Atlary (Turkmen Horses). He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment in an unfair trial in April 2002 on charges of abuse of office and negligence. The charges were allegedly brought because he had fallen out of favour with the former President and was caught up in a clampdown that saw scores of officials imprisoned. Geldy Kyarizov was included in the October 2007 presidential pardon and released from prison.

 

Please write immediately in Turkmen, Russian, English or your own language:

* Express concern that Geldy Kyarizov is in a very poor state of health and that without urgent specialist medical treatment his life may be in danger

* Urge the authorities of Turkmenistan to lift the travel restrictions violating Geldy Kyarizov’s right to health and his and his family’s right to freedom of movement and allow them to leave Turkmenistan;

* Urge the authorities to stop harassment of Geldy Kyarizov and people close to him.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 MARCH 2012 TO:  (Time difference = GMT + 5 hrs / BST + 4 hrs)

President of Turkmenistan

Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov
Presidential Palace
744000 Ashgabat
Turkmenistan
Fax: +993 12 93 5112 (please try a couple of times between 10-1500 GMT)
Salutation: Dear President of Turkmenistan

 

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Rashid Meredov   
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
83 pr. Magtymguly
744000 Ashgabat
Turkmenistan        
Email:      mfatm@online.tm
Fax: +993 12 93 4241 (please try a couple of times between 10-1500 GMT)
Salutation: Dear Minister


 

PLEASE SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEAL TO

His Excellency Mr Yazmurad N. Seryaev
Embassy of Turkmenistan
2nd Floor South
St George's House
14/17 Wells Street
London W1T 3PD

Fax: 020 7323 9184

 

ACKGROUND INFORMATION:

In 2010, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov reportedly signed a new decree prohibiting the exit and entry to the country of thousands of named individuals and organisations. The decree was sent to migration services, border guards, security forces and police stations around the country. The new decree is reported to explicitly bar 37,057 listed individuals from leaving Turkmenistan. Reportedly, it instructs Turkmenistani border authorities to prevent listed international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, from entering to the country, as well as over 8,000 named individuals of various nationalities.

Over several years Amnesty International has documented the Turkmenistani government’s punishment and intimidation of human rights activists, relatives and friends of exiled dissidents, and opposition members, in order to silence their critical voices. Restrictions on the right to freedom of movement have been used in an attempt to punish perceived critics of the Turkmenistani government and have even targeted their relatives. Amnesty International knows about cases where the relatives of the dissidents died in Turkmenistan after having been prevented from travelling abroad to receive necessary medical treatment.

For instance, on 15 November 2009, Ovez Annaev died of at the age of 46 after being denied permission to travel to Moscow for treatment not available in Turkmenistan, for his heart disease. He and other members of his family were barred from leaving the country after his brother-in-law, Khudayberdy Orazov, exiled leader of the opposition movement Vatan (Motherland), was sentenced to life imprisonment in his absence for his alleged involvement in the armed attack on former President Niyazov in November 2002.