About a month ago, at a meeting with representatives of law enforcement agencies of Turkmenistan, President Niyazov heard a report by the Minister of State Security on the elimination of an underground group carrying out "... criminal activities involving the organization in Turkmenistan of subversive work and collecting slanderous information in order to sow discontent among the population" . Moreover, it was stated that one of the underground workers had “trained in secret information gathering methods in order to spread discontent among people, provoking their actions against the government”. And, "... after this training, they begin to use it for the purposes pursued by special foreign special services and subversive centers."
So, for the umpteenth time, the security services of Turkmenistan were at their best and stopped the encroachments of the enemies of the state, spies and enemy hirelings. Moreover, not only their activities were exposed, but the communication channels with their owners, which were carried out through representatives of foreign embassies. Moreover, the detainees confessed that they were escorting enemy spies through the territory of Turkmenistan, who "... were collecting information of a clearly provocative nature."
Well, the Turkmen special services could be congratulated on the defeat of the espionage underground, if not a few nuances, which the minister spoke about in his accusing speech and which he kept silent about.
So. The subversive and espionage centers where one of the detained “spies” was trained turned out to be ... The Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights is an authoritative human rights organization that has been running International Schools for Human Rights for about 15 years, taught by leading experts on humanitarian law from different countries. A branch of the well-known human rights organization Memorial from Donetsk was also among those “centers”.
Foreign spies who collected "... information of a clearly provocative nature," turned out to be journalists from foreign media: an employee of BBC radio Lucy Ash and employees of the French TV company Galaxie Presse. All of them came to Turkmenistan at various times for the professional purpose of collecting at least some material about one of the most closed countries in the world. A “connected” of the arrested “spies” turned out to be an OSCE employee and cultural adviser at the French Embassy in Turkmenistan, whose role was reduced to transferring video cameras to “spies” for filming.
"Special foreign intelligence services and subversive centers" turned out ... Turkmen service "Radio Liberty" ("Azatlyk"), funded by the US State Department. It was on “Freedom” in the open, by telephone, that one of the “spies” transmitted its reports. This is a serious accusation, both against the US government in financing “special services and subversive centers”, and against the Bulgarian government, whose authorities officially registered the human rights organization “Turkmen Helsinki Foundation”, which also used materials from the arrested “spies”. This is a serious accusation against the OSCE and the French government, which in their embassies “organized” the channels of communication between “spies” and “subversive centers”.
The “spies” themselves, who were arrested, gathered 7 people. Moreover, as usual in Turkmenistan, the children of one of the defendants in the case were also arrested. But this is only a clear number of victims. It became known that all those who met with British and French journalists were identified as a result of interrogations of those arrested, which lasted (and lasts until now) every day for many hours in a row. Moreover, all confessions formulated before this during interrogations are recorded on a video camera. All of them came under round-the-clock surveillance, everyone is strictly prohibited any contact with foreigners and they immediately replenished the lists of persons whose travel outside of Turkmenistan is prohibited. As one of the former employees of the State Security Committee of Turkmenistan, who is now in emigration, said, the main tool of pressure on such "witnesses" is the threat of applying to them articles 171 (treason against the state) and 172 (espionage) of the Criminal Code, providing for terms of imprisonment from ten to twenty five years old. Or assignment of the status of "traitor to the motherland", which provides for life imprisonment without the right to amnesty. Moreover, the Provision “On treating individual non-legal actions as a betrayal, as well as punitive measures for traitors to the homeland,” among others, contains a specific definition of acts that is considered treason: domestic and foreign policy ", as well as:" awareness of impending non-legal actions and the failure to take measures to prevent them, as well as failure to notify the authorities about the upcoming actions.
So all contactees with foreign journalists and the media, who are trying to objectively write about events in Turkmenistan, potentially fall under the jurisdiction of all the listed articles of the Criminal Code. And people who write for foreign media, who collect information, photos and video materials, fall under these articles automatically.
What made President Niyazov, and without his knowledge, similar attacks against other states and international organizations are simply unthinkable, to go for a similar aggravation? Especially on the eve of negotiations with the EU on concluding a trade agreement, which were frozen for several years precisely because of the horrific situation with human rights? Why blame people not knowingly involved in these acts for espionage and subversive activity? After all, it is known that the only thing that foreign special services can show interest in is true, and not declared, data on natural gas reserves that Turkmenistan has. But these data in the amount of several copies are kept in the personal safe of Turkmenbashi and no spies can get there. And all that could be taken on video or told on the phone alleged "spies" - large-scale demolition of housing in Ashgabat, empty chic new buildings, child labor in cotton fields and city bazaars, forced "subbotniks" for all civil servants on repeated planting of trees, all this and much more, has long become a byword and in no way could damage the reputation and prestige of Turkmenistan, since all who are interested in it know what this reputation is worth and how low the prestige of this state is.
And “the spread of discontent among people, provoking their actions against the government” in modern Turkmenistan is simply impossible. The already mentioned former employee of the special services of Turkmenistan said that several years ago Turkmenistan had introduced an electronic system for listening to telephone conversations, intercepting faxes and e-mail messages in all places of mass gatherings of people, in bazaars, at all intersections, around all administrative knowledge established video cameras, each quarter is surrounded by stationary police posts, and mobiles constantly ply around the cities, young people in a quite specific type walk in all public places with daddies in their hands, at all entrances and exits in Ashgabat and other cities the transport is totally checked, all copying and copying equipment is registered and constantly monitored.
So it’s not spies, saboteurs and provocateurs who are afraid of Turkmenbashi. He is anxiously anxious about his own persona and all that is connected with her. And hysterically afraid of journalists. He is ready to call them all hires of any intelligence services and special services, authoritative international organizations as centers of training “subversive elements and terrorists”, accuse the government of democratic states of indulging such activities, and the citizens of Turkmenistan suspected of “unnecessary connections” - respectively and without doubt - traitors. And his first reaction is always embodied in the arrests of people and their relatives, in convictions. And for Turkmenbashi, it does not matter anymore that because of this, international trade agreements are thwarted and economic sanctions threaten, his rage is so great that he forgets about all this and that afterwards he will be said even worse. The most important thing is to convince your people and yourself that enemies and the espionage underground are all around.
“Have they taken everyone?” Asked the president
"All" - the minister answered ...
"Good. Conduct an investigation openly, publicly "
The only publicity in the investigation of such cases is a demonstration on local television of a record with the repentance of the next "spies, saboteurs, terrorists and disruptive elements."
Recently, from reliable sources, it became known that the main defendants of this “case” are being prepared for such public “confession” and “repentance”, which will be shown on Turkmen television. And this “queen of evidence” will serve as a clear example of the fact that the fatherland is once again in danger.
Comment by a former employee of the National Security Committee:
“The main defendants in such cases are usually severely beaten during the first days of the investigation. They are beaten, as a rule, with two-thirds plastic bottles (so-called “egg-caps”) filled with water. The pain is unbearable, but there are no bruises or hematomas. Almost no food and water, almost no sleep. All the while, they threaten with long periods of time and speculate in the well-being of their loved ones, the health of their parents and children.
After the "assassination" of President Niyazov in 2002, special psychotropic drugs were delivered from Turkey that paralyze the will and the interrogated person is ready to tell everything he knows. At that time (the period after the “attempt”, the end of 2002), this drug was applied to many. I know that all the testimony, which was then broadcast on television, was recorded after the injection of a drug from the group of psychotropic drugs to the person under investigation. I heard that someone after that was left disabled ... "