Imprisonment of conscientious objectors in Turkmenistan

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Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Rashid Meredov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Imprisonment of conscientious objectors Navruz Nasyrlaev, Shaduri Ushotov, Akmurat Egendurdiev, Sakhetmurad Annamamedov, Mukhammedmurad Annamamedov, Aziz Roziev, Dovleyet Byashimov, Ahmet Hudaybergenov

Dear Minister Rashid Meredov

I am very concerned about the recent arrests of conscientious objectors in Turkmenistan, and particulary about the sentencing of Aziz Roziev (4 August 2010), Dovleyet Byashimov (30 August 2010), and Ahmet Hudaybergenov (mid-September 2010). All three were sentenced for their refusal to perform military service. In addition, Navruz Nasyrlaev, Shaduri Ushotov, Akmurat Egendurdiev, Sakhetmurad Annamamedov and Mukhammedmurad Annamamedov are presently serving prison sentences for their conscientious objection to military service.

Their trial and subsequent prison sentence is a violation of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the right to conscientious objection.
Turkmenistan is a party to the ICCPR. As such, it is bound by the standards set out in the Covenant. I want to bring to your attention the decision of the Human Rights Committee on two cases of conscientious objectors from South Korea. In its decision, the Committee clarifies that not to provide for the right to conscientious objection is a violation of Article 18 of the ICCPR (CCPR/C/88/D/1321-1322/2004, 23 January 2007). This also applies to Turkmenistan.

I am disappointed that the recent amendments to the law on military service do not include provisions for the right to conscientious objection.

I therefore urge you to immediately release all imprisoned conscientious objectors, and to follow the UN recommendations. I urge you to respect human rights.