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Stop the persecution against innocent Gulen affiliated people in Turkmenistan!

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Petition to end unfair jailing and imprisonment in Turkmenistan.

We are writing as concerned citizens of Turkmenistan regarding troubling human right violations happening in the country.

The current Turkmen government is engaged in widespread and brutal violations of human rights, particularly targeting people associated with Gulen affiliated schools. Since fall of 2016, hundreds have been arrested, tortured and dozens have been imprisoned with terror charges. Arrested people include teachers, successful businessmen and graduates of former Gulen affiliated schools which were opened in 1990s, after collapse of the Soviet Union. These educational institutions were accredited by Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan and were operating under close watch of the government. The schools were providing the best instruction in Turkmenistan. Which was the reason why most high level bureaucrats were enrolling their children in these schools. The students from these schools were representing the country in international science Olympiads with a great success. In 2011, the government decided to shut down the schools There was no publicity of the reasons for the closure. However, it is widely believed that there are political motives behind government’s decision.   

Since Turkmenistan has no free and independent media, all these violations have happened behind the closed doors. Not even family members have information on whereabouts until arrested ones are released or sentenced with terror charges. Trials were not open to public and there are reports that some did not even have legal representation during the trial. People have been sentenced from 12 to 25 years in prison without producing any evidence that stands in court of law other than “confessions”. All appeals have been denied. Properties of all imprisoned are expropriated on behest of government leaving nothing for families left behind to survive. While torture in the criminal justice system is known to be widespread, Turkmenistan is utterly closed to all independent human rights scrutiny, and the government controls all aspects of public life including media.

It is reported that these persecutions are happening since president of Turkey and his government is claiming the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey was orchestrated by self-exiled preacher, Mr. Fethullah Gulen and his followers. Mr. Gulen himself denied such allegations and denounced the attempt immediately. Since then, government of Turkey could not produce credible evidence to support their claim There were number of testimonies from western government bodies and officials finding this claim implausible. However, the Turkish government is continuing its’ unprecedented oppressions against innocent people affiliated with Gulen movement and now, has extended its’ efforts to overseas.

There are reports indicating that the persecutions in Turkmenistan will continue in mass. According to some foreign news outlets and informal information received from government officials, the administration is planning series of arrests which is expected to include anywhere between a thousand and five thousand people. For a six million nation, that number is astronomical.

It is pathetic to see all these unfortunate events happening in Turkmenistan. Our country should invest in education and not allow ill intended groups within the government to incarcerate the people who contribute to prosper the society. Therefore, we plead to the President of Turkmenistan, who we think is either unaware or misinformed about the massive human rights violations happening in Turkmenistan under his watch. These kinds of events would not help him to have a good legacy as a President and ruin the image of him and our beloved Motherland in international arena.

Turkmenistan is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which prohibits torture and obliges states to ensure that all detainees are treated with humanity and to provide anyone held on criminal charges with a fair and public trial.

Please sign and assist us to publicize the human rights violations happening to Turkmen citizens without due process and to attract the attention of the President of Turkmenistan. We believe he will take an action to end all the tyranny against innocent people of Turkmenistan and honor the Treaties country obliged to bind.


Concerned Turkmen Citizens.

PS We have to stay anonymous due to possible reprisal from Turkmen government to our families or ourselves.

Independent Sources regarding these unjust arrests and imprisonments:


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