Turkmenistan on the verge of large-scale amnesty. Mass pardon will take place on the Night of Forgiveness (Gadir Gidzhe), a tradition that has become annual since 1999. President Saparmurad Niyazov said: this should be almost the most impressive in scope for the entire history of Turkmenistan’s independence with a population of six million (according to official figures). The released will lay their hands on the Ruhnama and the bread to pray to the merciful Turkmenbashi and swear in his eternal loyalty to him.
Persons noticed in the attempt to assassinate the president, traitors to their homeland, caught for premeditated murder, drug smuggling, sabotage work, espionage, official misconduct, repeat offenders, corrupt officials and others are automatically dropped from the waiting list. It turns out that only petty thieves and hooligans will be pardoned - and this is against the background of statistical data on a significant reduction in the crime situation. “Thieves in law” in Ashgabat, as it is known, was shot in the first years of Niyazov’s rule, and the massacre was shown on all state television channels.
In the case of Turkmenbashi, between six and ten thousand people are usually released into one amnesty, it happened that two or three times a year. The occasion became the significant calendar dates - Flag Day, President's Birthday, Novruz-Bayram, Kurban-Bayram, Independence Day. According to the most conservative estimates, there are at least one “pardoned” in every fifty Turkmen citizens. Niyazov, who presented the nation with two weighty “green” volumes of a specific Talmud, does not tire of reminding his subordinates about the need to conduct “educational purposes” excursions to prisons for the younger generation and “statesmen”.
Attempt is not torture
Red Cross is not included in this list. Although, according to fragmentary information, there is hope for some progress. The Turkmen Helsinki Foundation, referring to the presidential guard, reports, for example, about “improving the conditions of detention” of Boris Shikhmuradov, whom the Turkmen Themis planted for life, considering him to be the instigator of the assassination attempt on Niyazov on November 25, 2002. “Perhaps the authorities want, in case of increased pressure from international organizations, to present to the public the main person involved in the“ November case ”in a favorable light, in order to show an allegedly good attitude towards prisoners in the country,” tries to analyze the situation of the TCF. Human rights activists also urge Ashgabat to seek disclosure of information about the death of prisoners and to organize an investigation of all reports of torture, cruel and inhuman treatment. They are seriously worried about the death of Deputy Prime Minister Ella Kurbanmuradov arrested in May, along with previous reports of deaths in prisoners - former Deputy Chairman of the National Security Committee Hait Kakayev, Foreign Minister Batyr Berdyev, Speaker of the Parliament Tagan Khallyev and Arkady Nikkel, the hotel’s waiter “Grand-Turkmen”, allegedly detained for contacts with the new Turkmen opposition group “Oyan” (Wake up), illegally operating inside the country.
“He” knows everything
Niyazov has recently demonstrated a striking awareness of the situation in the Turkmen penitentiary institutions. “You should know that I know everything,” he assured. He admitted that he had been told that “everything is bought and sold”, “women are being raped”, and once the punctured officials, thanks to the money accumulated on a “rainy day”, they live freely and comfortably. The president was not unsubstantiated. Thus, the former deputy chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan (in the nineties), Babakulyev Jorakula, was caught “by the hand” at the time of receiving an impressive bribe from the British company Vinceport LTD. Was ordered to sit in Bayramaly prison in Mary region. In practice - a straightforward reality show. “Tolstossum”, as Niyazov spoke with intrigue in his voice, settled for a certain bribe in the regional center in a three-room apartment, where he retired with his beloved “minx”. Sounded like a joke.
With such facts, the head of the country demanded an irrevocable end. For the first time, he drew attention to the precedents of brutal violence in the country's only female colony in the city of Dashoguz, the capital of the most populous region located near Uzbekistan. Niyazov reached exhaustive evidence that “rape and atrocities” are taking place in the Dashoguz colony. Niyazov gave a simple recipe. Replace male prison staff with female ones and “catch a couple of guilty as an edification”. At first glance, it sounds almost like a sensation. According to the testimony of the OSCE, the Turkmen Helsinki Foundation, the Helsinki Group, and other organizations, to the excesses of the guards until today, not one of the repeatedly cited real examples of bullying and torture (with the names of the offenders), in Turkmenistan were not given punishment. At the same time, human rights activists expressed fears that personnel rotation based on gender will not save the situation, unfortunately. “Policemen may become skilled pimps,” they suggested, recommending that they fight not the effect, but the cause. To begin, at least, with the creation of “human living conditions” behind the barbed wire.
The painful topic of prison conditions on the open air of the state channel “Altyn Asyr” (Golden Age) was not touched upon in the recording of the government that broadcast the meeting. Thus, the fact that there are three times more people in local casemates than that is supposed to be ignored, that instead of food there is an incomprehensible balanda and that tuberculosis, viral diseases and AIDS are rampant behind the bars.
The President of Turkmenistan made another statement: the women serving their sentences mostly came across the drug trade. According to the testimony of "experienced", this problem has long gone far beyond the borders of the "golden age of the Turkmen." An officer who once worked in the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan says that many local girls and women mostly living in the border area with Afghanistan, especially in the Tagtabazar area, harvested this smuggled goods to feed their children and make ends meet. The keepers of the family hearth of despair as a container are often used and use their "fragile body". There were several cases when they died tragically from a sudden rupture in the stomach right on the plane or at the airport. Some of the survivors found themselves in the dark, harsh zindans of Turkey and Iran, awaiting a death sentence. This moment apparently also remained “behind closed doors”. On the other hand, Niyazov openly lifted another secret veil - who is the potential buyer of hard drugs inside the country, primarily heroin. “His hands are gnawed by drug injections. In the port, everyone knew about it, ”he said indignantly about the head of the seaport of Turkmenbashi, who had recently been removed from his post due to connections with a corrupt official.