Interdepartmental Commission on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Held Meeting in Ashgabat
The Interdepartmental Commission for monitoring the implementation of Turkmenistan’s international commitments in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law convened for a regular meeting at the Turkmen National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan. Representatives of the Mejlis (parliament), ministries, departments, and public organizations participated in the meeting. Meeting participants reviewed the work done in the past year, defined long-term plans, and noted that in the reporting period, the Commission, which is a standing advisory interagency body, carried out a series of measures aimed at the further democratization and strengthening of the rule of law of the Turkmen society.
Turkmenistan: Human Rights? What Human Rights?
In an article for http://globalvoicesonline.org/ an author who calls herself Anna Fergana wrote about human rights in Turkmenistan, saying that since the beginning of 2013, there has been more news about Turkmenistan, subjecting Turkmenistan’s human rights and media freedom record to international scrutiny. The author cites Turkmen citizens, active on the internet, expressing their own opinions on these issues: “... most netizens in Turkmenistan ... believe that media freedoms and human rights in general are nothing but ‘fiction’ in the Caspian state. Commenting under a news report on Chrono-TM.org, reader ‘Zemlyachka' questions the very idea of human rights having a place in contemporary Turkmenistan: “A friend of mine was once asked in the US Embassy in Turkmenistan: “How do you feel about violations of human rights in Turkmenistan?” To which he responded: “How can you violate something that does not exist?” On a YouTube video about Turkmenistan's latest comprehensive human rights report submitted to UN, several users debate media restrictions in the country. One user, ‘Emir3839′, argues that the Turkmen government has a ‘sovereign right’ to restrict media on ‘national security’ grounds. With the potential for energy cooperation with Turkmenistan very much on the minds of policymakers in Washington and Brussels, the West is probably nodding sagely in agreement, concludes the author.
Silly Dictator Story #25: Turkmenistan’s 'Protector' Becomes Photobomber-in-Chief
Newlyweds in Turkmenistan are obliged to take at least some of their wedding photos with President Berdymukhamedov’s portrait in the background. Those who are planning to get married soon can at least console themselves that they won't have to take a picture in front of an outdated photograph, because a massive new campaign to replace the old Berdymukhamedov portraits is now taking place across the country. Wearing a blue suit and a red tie, and looking a bit more youthful in his new portrait photos, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reports that high school teachers are being forced to collect money from their students in order to replace the old portraits with the new one. The price of a framed portrait to be purchased by a high school costs at least 30 manats ($11).
Source: Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe