Turkmenistan, Apparently, Had an Election

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.”

Turkmenistan: Election takes place amid growing crackdown on journalists

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…

“Teenagers are less likely to be bought.” Present-day slavery in Turkmenistan in the cotton sector

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.…

Turkmenistan: Two prisoner of conscience deaths from torture?

The two deceased prisoners of conscience were members of an informal Sunni Muslim study group led by Bahram Saparov, a resident of Turkmenabat in Lebap Region. Saparov and 19 others – including Yaylanov – were arrested in March 2013 and sentenced to long prison terms in May 2013. Baltayev was among other members of the group sentenced in separate trials later.

Australia will not compete at AIMAG in Ashgabat

The AOC conferred with a number of the sports that could participate at the Games. After discussions the AOC was made aware that the majority of these sports had already locked in their schedules for the year with many of them having long term plans in place focusing on the 2018 Commonwealth Games.