Matalaev was arrested in the night of October 4, 2016, two days after his report on state-orchestrated forced labor of children and adults in Turkmenistan’s cotton harvest, accompanied by extensive photographic evidence, was posted on ATN’s website.
In November the Turkmen court sentenced him to three years in prison on false “fraud” charges. The real reason behind his imprisonment is Matalaev’s involvement in the forced labor monitoring in Turkmenistan during cotton harvesting. Matalaev confessed to fraud under torture with electric shocks.
Based on these decrees, State Tourism Committee Chairman Cholukov urges companies to help “create a funding source for the AIMAG-2017 Executive Committee Fund from voluntary donations of your enterprises.”
Tyrmyev’s colleagues in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) also respected him. In the pictures received by ATN, Tyrmyev is photographed together with such people as Vladimir Putin who was the FSB chief at the time, Rustam Inoyatov, head of the Uzbek special service from 1995 to date, Nurtay Abykayev who headed the NSC in Kazakhstan.
Ms. Kucherenko has no doubts that it is the secret police that is behind the hack. She is one of the few local Turkmen activists, who has openly fought against mass extermination of animals in Ashgabat for several years.
Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN) ran a secretive survey of voters ahead of the election. The interviewers asked a simple question — “Will you vote for Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov?” — to 216 people, mostly family and friends of the interviewers as “such campaigns are risky in Turkmenistan, and also because most citizens live in fear and never voice their opinions on any subject.”
Information collected by ATN cannot reflect the whole spectrum of social opinion before the presidential elections in Turkmenistan. However, it gives some indication about the general mood of the citizens.
A presidential election is due to take place on Sunday (12 February) in Turkmenistan. If, as expected, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is re-elected, he will embark on a third term. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan’s remaining independent journalists are being subjected to an unprecedented crackdown. “As Turkmenistan prepares to host the Asian Olympic Games in September, the world cannot remain…
Since the Turkmenistan authorities have introduced unprecedented efforts to block information coming out of the country, especially when it comes to cotton picking (see the new release below), ATN is refraining from publishing photo evidence of the use of forced labor this season, though that does not mean that our monitors have stopped their activities.…