POLITICAL ASYLUM IN THE EU

 

As detailed below, Geldy and his family were allowed to leave Turkmenistan in the autumn of 2015 following a long campaign for their freedom. Unfortunately they suffered ongoing harassment in Moscow, which culminated in a serious knife attack on Geldy's sister-in-law. Geldy and his family have now been granted political asylum in the EU. After a spell of waiting while their application was being processed, the family now have their asylum ratified, have found a nice apartment  and are about to be issued with passports.

            We profoundly hope that this will mark the end of their long time of living under constant fear and worse, and the opportunity to begin a new life in freedom and safety.

Yulia, Geldy, Diana and Aliya, Elena and Sofia in their new home

    

The damage to Diana's arm caused in the knife attack

 

GELDY KYARIZOV

 

Here is a message to all our friends

Dear friends
We would like to congratulate all of you with Merry Christmas and to wish you all the best in coming New Year! This year was great for our family - at last we are almost together and free !!! We would like to thank all of you for your help and support! Our family would like to tell that your prayers, your efforts to help us made our freedom real. We are together now! 
Thank you! God bless you!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Geldy, Yulia, Diana, Elene, Sophia and Alia

 

Former Turkmen Horse Minister/Concentration Camp Victim

 

FULL CIRCLE

From aspirational young horsemen... to world-famous breeder... 

to Concentration Camp survivor... to FREE MAN

 

 

SEPTEMBER 21st: REMAINDER OF GELDY'S FAMILY FREED

Following Geldy's release to Moscow last week, the news has arrived that his daughter Sofia and sister-in-law Elena, initially prevented from accompanying him, have been allowed to join him, ariving yesterday in Moscow. Geldy's whole family are now safe in Russia. More details
     This marks the end of a campaign that has lasted for 13½ years. Although Geldy has lost his stud farm and all his horses, he has at least escaped with his life and his family, and can begin a new life in his new country.
     A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported him through these terrible times.


   

SEPTEMBER 14th:GELDY KYARIZOV NOW IN RUSSIA

 

On Monday Geldy Kyarizov arrived in Moscow. He has been released to travel to Russia for medical treatment.

Congratulations and thanks to all the people who have helped to bring this about: to those who signed the letter to the President last month, to those who supported Andrea Rauter's on-line petition in the spring, to CuChullaine O'Reilly and the Long Riders' Guild for proposing Geldy for prestigious international honours, and most of all to the British Embassy in Ashgabat who have pressed his case with patient diplomacy over the last decade, right up to the pivotal meeting between the British Ambassador to Turkmenistan and Turkmenistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hajiyev last week.

But let's not forget Geldy's daughter and sister-in-law, who have remained behind in Turkmenistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the moment, though: CONGRATULATIONS, GELDY, and welcome to freedom!

 

SEPTEMBER 7th 2015: The meeting referred to in the paragraph below was held today. The British Embassy summarised thus: "The British Ambassador in Ashgabat has discussed the case of Mr Kyarizov with Deputy Foreign Minister Hajiyev of Turkmenistan, who has undertaken to raise the issue with the relevant Turkmen government agencies." 

Amnesty International continues to call for Geldy to be permitted to travel abroad for medical treatment which he cannot obtain at home.

 

AUGUST 19th 2015: Akhal-Teke breeders, travellers, writers, artists and others called on President Berymukhamedov to allow Geldy to travel abroad for medical treatment. Twenty-three signatories from ten countries across the world congratulated the President on the achievements of his country's first Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and first Member of the international Long Riders' Guild. An accompanying press release generated press interest, more articles and an interview about Geldy with Radio Liberty, as well as a response from the British Ambassador in Ashgabat confirming the approaches made in the past to the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan (for just one example of British Embassy support click here), and stating the hope of another in the very near future.

 

AUGUST 5TH 2015: Geldy and his family tried again to travel to Russia, with visas issued by the Russian Embassy. Their paperwork was again cancelled at the airport. See Chronicles of Turkmenistan

 

 

JULY 2015: Geldy Kyarizov is made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain 

in recognition of his long-distance journeys on horseback, and of his extensive and educational work in promoting the Akhal-Teke horse at home and abroad. 

Geldy is the first Turkmen to be accorded this honour. 

 
 


 

In a further international accolade, 

Geldy has been instated as a Member of the Long Riders' Guild 

based upon his completion of the 4,300 km ride from Ashgabat to Moscow in 1988.

With Members in forty-five countries, every major equestrian explorer alive today belongs to The Guild, including Hadji Shamsuddin of Afghanistan, who recently rode a thousand miles through that war-zone, Jean-Louis Gouraud of France, who rode 3,000 miles from Paris to Moscow, Tim Cope of Australia, who rode 6,000 miles from Mongolia to Hungary, Claudia Gottet of Switzerland, who rode 8,000 miles from Arabia to the Alps, Adnan Azzam of Syria, who rode 10,000 miles from Madrid to Mecca, and Vladimir Fissenko of Russia, who rode 19,000 miles from Patagonia to Alaska.

Geldy is also the first Turkmen to receive this honour. See http://www.thelongridersguild.com/news.htm

Geldy in historical costume

These honours for Geldy are the subject of an article in the international news service Horse Talk

 

BACKGROUND

Geldy Kyarizov, one of the world's leading authorities on the Akhal-Teke horse, was denounced, imprisoned and almost lost his life in Turkmenistan's Ovadan Depe Concentration Camp. Released in a general amnesty, he lives under virtual house arrest, constantly threatened and harassed. His family are denied permission to work. His horses - his life's work - have been confiscated by the State. He suffers from serious medical problems, but is unable to obtain treatment in Turkmenistan. Although his family are Russian citizens, they are denied permission to leave the country.

The UN High Commission for Human Rights has written to the President of Turkmenistan about Geldy. Amnesty International have issued Urgent Actions on 3rd Feb 2007, 1st February 2012 and 8th Jan 2014, on Geldy's behalf. His case has been discussed in the British Parliament and the European Parliament. His case has been taken up by the international organisation Human Rights Watch.

                    

 

 

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

December 2014

With the active support of the Russian Embassy, Geldy and his family obtained Russian visas and tickets to Moscow. They were quite open about these plans. On December 11th they arrived at the airport, only to have their documents cancelled. They were told that they were on a Black List and were not allowed to leave. The note on their ticket translates to "Rejected to leave by the National Agency"

 

 

 

April 2014

Letters and emails to the British FCO are answered, "We are aware of the case of Mr. Kyarizov, which has been raised in a number of letters to us, and we share your concern about reports of his deteriorating health... Our Embassy in Ashgabat is asking the Turkmen Government to look into this..."

For a larger copy of the letter, please click here.

February 2014

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights wrote a letter about Geldy to the Turkmen Government. "I would like to bring to your Excellency's Government's attention information I have received concerning Mr. Geldy Kyarizov, who is in urgent need of specialist medical treatment outside Turkmenistan and has allegedly been denied leave to travel abroad to seek such treatment... Mr Kyarizov was the subject of an allegation letter sent to your Excellency's Government on 17th March 2006 by the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture..." To see the document, please click here.

 

January 2014 

Amnesty International issued its third Urgent Action on behalf of Geldy.

 

For the full background to Geldy's situation, and events over the past 13 years, please click here.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP...

Please sign the petitition asking President Gurbanguli Berdimukhamedov to let Geldy Kyarizov and his family leave Turkmenistan.

You can download a poster image, also suitable for printing on to a T-Shirt - dozens of these were sold to raise money for Geldy's family in 2002 - 3. The image is now available free. Please note that the file is high resolution for printing, and may take extra time to download.

 

Below: Yanardag, the horse bred by Geldy and gifted to President Niazov, became the national symbol of Turkmenistan, celebrated with his own statue and even postage stamps; while the yard where he was bred was demolished, his stable companions taken away to the National Stud where several starved to death (as photographed by a British Embassy official).