posted 21st February 2012
We have prepared three letters. Further
information available here.
3rd Feb 2012 - Amnesty International issue Urgent Action call
posted 5th February 2012
On 3rd February 2012, Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action
call on Geldy's behalf, owing to his current medical condition. More
information is available here. Please add your voice in support.
6th March 2007 - update
6th March 2007
Efforts to secure Geldy's release are constantly in progress. News of
the main ones is listed below. (Please also see our Reports
and Pictures page.)
6th Mar 2007 - Geldy's case raised in UK Parliament Written Answers
In Written Answers for 27th February 2007, Geoff Hoon (Minister of State
(Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office) responded to questions put
by Mr Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford (Conservative), who had asked for
a statement on relations between the UK and Turkmenistan and Mr. Alistair
Carmichael (Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland), who had asked
what recent representations the Government had made on behalf of Turkmenistan
human rights defenders.
Replying for the Government, Mr Hoon welcomed the election
of the new president and saif the UK stands ready, with EU colleagues
and the international community, to assist the government of Turkmenistan
in the implementation of democratic reforms and the development of civil
In his reply to Mr Carmichael, Mr Hoon said that Geldy's
case had been raised by the British Embassy in Ashgabat in January who,
together with other EU embassies, had also taken action in February. Geldy's
case had also been raised on behalf of the EU on the 16th February
by EU Special Representative Pierre Morel, who raised the cases of several
human rights defenders while visiting Turkmenistan. Mr Hoon went on to
say that the UK is working closely with its EU and international partners
to offer co-ordinated support and assistance to the government of Turkmenistan
in implementing democratic and human rights reforms.
Read the full text in Hansard here.
9th Feb 2007 - Amnesty International calls for a retrial or the release
Yesterday, 8th February 2007, Amnesty International published the document
Turkmenistan Victims need justice now! A compilation of cases,
requesting the incoming president (the election is set for Sunday, 11th February)
to "break with the country’s long legacy of repression and
offer its people a new commitment to human rights."
The document makes calls on the newly elected President
to take immediate steps to reverse Turkmenistan’s dire record of
torture, imprisonment and forced exile and makes eighteen calls for action
on the part of the new government, including two specific to Geldy:
- "ensure that Geldy Kyarizov is immediately provided with all
necessary medical treatment
- "release him immediately if he is not to be promptly and fairly
tried in proceedings that conform to international standards for fair
trial and are open to international observers"
The full text of the document is available at the Amnesty
International website here.
9th February 2007 - UK and Irish MEPs take up Geldy's case
We should like to express our deep appreciation for the recent efforts
of two Members of the European Parliament, Mr. Malcolm Harbour MEP and
Avril Doyle MEP.
Malcolm Harbour MEP
Mr. Malcolm Harbour MEP [European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
and European Democrats (EPP-ED)], has tabled, jointly with the European
Parliamentary Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs, Charles Tannock
MEP, a written question to the European Commission and the Council about
Mr Harbour said he hopes to receive a response from the
Commission shortly, and also hopes that the German Government (who currently
hold the presidency of the Council) might be able to help as they are
influential in the region.
Text of the questions tabled to the
Avril Doyle MEP
Avril Doyle, a member of the EU Parliament and president (or immediate
past president) of the Irish Equestrian Federation, has written to Ona
Jukneviciené MEP (Chairwoman Delegation to the EU-Kazakhstan, EU-Kyrgyzstan
and EU-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees and Delegation
for relations with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia), relating Geldy's
case and urging her in her capacity as Chairwoman of the Delegation responsible
for Turkmenistan, to take the matter on board with the relevant authorities
with some urgency, and pursue Geldy's immediate release.
2nd February 2007 - Amnesty International call for action
Amnesty International have just issued a call for action in support
of Geldy through their Urgent Action network.
Please support the call. Further
24th January 2007 - AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TAKE UP GELDY'S CASE
There have been a number of developments in Geldy's situation in recent
The first is that Amnesty International have taken
up his case, marking him for 'Urgent Action'.
The second is that the Turkmen Helsinki Foundation, a
Human Rights group, has received an eye-witness account of the massacre
of 23 prisoners at Ovadan Depe Prison, which is the most likely location
for Geldy if he is still alive. (See article http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=42170
) This is so far unsubstantiated; Amnesty International are investigating.
The third is that the government have begun to demolish
Mr. Kyarizov's stud farm, and yesterday were pulling off the roof literally
from around the horses. This was threatened last year, but the family
secured written confirmation that they would not be evicted until they
had been found alternative accommodation. Now this has been overruled
by the KNB (former KGB). Diana, Geldy's younger sister-in-law, writes:
had a letter from the Procurater of Ashabad that we will stay
at our place untill we will be given a new land. But they
demolished us. We seen a letter from the Minister of KNB.
He signed it by himself personally. He wrote to Hakim of Ashabad
city that he must demolish the stables and Take That Horses
away. That is his words. The letter from 9.01.2007 4-104."
Last October the European Union took a strong stance against
Turkmenistan's appalling Human Rights record. With the former President
now dead and an "election" pending, there has never been a better
time to persuade Turkmenistan to amend its Human Rights record.
We ask that people write to their MP, The Foreign Office,
and their MEPs requesting that they ask the Turkmen government whether
Geldy is still alive.
Letters are available for
December 2006 - Ovadan Tepe and report of Geldy's death through torture
When he was not released, it subsequently appeared that Geldy had been
transferred to Turkmenistan's notorious Ovadan Depe prison for political
prisoners. Further, on 15th December, the family received a deeply
disturbing visit from a man purporting to be from the KNB (formerly the
KGB) who told them that Geldy had recently died under torture. The family
have had no confirmation of this and hope that it was merely a continuation
of the intimidation they have been the subject of over recent months.
Work has been in progress behind the scenes for several
weeks to bring Geldy's situation to the attention of the media. The recent
death of President Niyazov raised the profile of Turkmenistan, and the
opportunity was taken through the UK's The Daily Telegraph.
- March 2005 - a letter from Geldy's
wife asking the international community to contact, on her behalf, any
International organizations that can help free her husband and stop
the antagonism towards her family.
- January 2005 - request for you
to write to your MP etc.; news from Geldy's sister that Geldy is eligible
for parole but that this has not been granted; response from UK Foreign
and Commonwealth Office; a letter from Geldy's wife to the US Ambassador
February 2006 - The British Embassy
British Embassy Support for Geldy
The British Embassy in Ashgabat continues to be concerned about Geldy
Kyarizov's condition in prison. The Embassy is in regular correspondence
with us and maintains close contact with the family whom they meet on
a regular basis. The Embassy has made a number of representations to the
authorities in Turkmenistan and continues to do so both on Geldy's case
and the wider issue of human rights in general.
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March 2005 - Yulia Serebryannik
A letter from Yulia Serebryannik, Geldy's wife, asking for help.
– Members of International Akhal-teke Breeding Association
My name is
Yulia L’vovna Serebryannik; I am the wife of Geldy
is a famous breeder and selectioner. He has bred the famous
stallion Yanardag - the symbol of Turkmenistan. He has always
fought for purity of the breed. My husband played an invaluable
role in preserving and developing Akhal-teke breed across
the world. My husband has established the President’s
stables. He gifted the President such fine horses as Bitaraplyk,
Karfagen, Kervenbashi, Mahatma and Alp-Arslan.
has been decorated with medals “For love to the Nation”
and “Gairat”. He is a member of the Democratic
Party of Turkmenistan.
than three years now my husband has been locked up in prison.
In 2002 he was convicted for negligence and overstepping
authority. This case was fabricated by KNB (equivalent
to Russian KGB*), in particular M. Nazarov, H. Allakuliev
and A. Ovezov. My husband was arrested on 31/01/02 without
an order from the General Prosecutor and was detained in
SIZO KNB facility for two weeks.
He was forced
to appear on National television and “confess”
his crimes. Prior to this appearance he was threatened with
torture to himself and his family. As a result he “confessed”
to stealing horses, cars and 53,000 000 manat.
court hearing my husband was found not guilty of any of
these crimes and the accusations were dropped. But even
though there was enough evidence to prove his innocence
he was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment for negligence
and overstepping authority.
A month later
following his illegal arrest, imprisonment in KNB facility
and extreme psychological pressure my husband suffered a
heart attack, pneumonia, a stroke and partial paralysis.
He has lost 30 kilograms of body weight.
moment he has already served a half of his sentence. According
to the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan Constitution he is
eligible for conditional release.
three years that my husband has spent in LBK-12 facility
he was not allowed to receive any medical treatment in a
specialized unit under the care of medical practitioners.
I am a cardiologist myself and I am aware that a patient
that suffered a heat attack and a stroke has to be hospitalized
for special treatment annually. Particularly, considering
my husband’s poor health condition.
from high blood pressure 180/110 mm. At any moment he can
suffer a repeated heart attack. Constant high arterial pressure
can cause a repeated stroke, which can affect vital areas
of the brain and cause death.
When my husband
suffered a second heart attack in 2003, we could not even
arrange for his admittance to Maryisky prison hospital.
has served ½ of his term without any incidents of
misbehavior but instead of granting him conditional release
the prison was visited by a Commission including the vice
director of DIN Aman Yazkuliev, representatives from the
Prosecutor’s office and a group of operatives from
Department 6, who chose to interview my husband –
the only person out of 1500 inmates.
from Department 6 asked my husband which barrack he lives
in, who are his inmates and most interestingly they questioned
whether he had any misbehavior incidents, and how much time
he spent in the prison hospital. Further they officially
warned him not to get involved in inter prison theft activities
and similar nonsense.
This is real
blackmail, i.e. we are shown that if we do not shut up and
do not stop demanding my husband’s constitutional
rights, then he can be accused of absolutely anything.
It is very
interesting that at the time of the interview the vice director
of DIN and the representatives of the Prosecutor’s
office have left the room and the operatives of Department
6 calmly proceeded to convince my husband that he will have
to serve the entire 6 years.
We are well
aware of the methods used in prisons when drugs are planted
in the prisoners’ cells, when false witnesses are
used to incriminate inmates or when the administration itself
fabricates none existing offences for inappropriate clothing,
or for not shaving or cutting one’s hair, even though
all inmates in LBK-12 are dressed in special uniforms and
shave their heads daily.
of the prison forbids not only receiving treatment in LBK-12
medical unit but even visiting the facility, even though
I have an official document signed by R. Haitmuratov where
he guarantees that my husband will be kept under constant
monitoring from the doctors of LBK-12 medical unit (copy
LBK-12 administration advises that my husband’s candidature
can not be forwarded to the commission for conditional release
because he does not dance or sing to entertain the administration.
my husband lives in an airless communal barrack with 50
other inmates, despite the letter from the director of DIN
– R. Haitmuratov, where he guarantees that my husband
will be kept under constant monitoring by the medical specialists.
has been stripped off all his rights – right for health,
right for medical treatment, right for conditional release
and even right to live.
I ask you
to contact, on my behalf, any International organizations
that can help free my husband and stop the antagonism towards
Organisations are listed on the Support
Geldy was not
included in the general amnesty in December 2004 but is legally eligible
for parole, although this has to date been refused by the authorities.
After trying silence for a year, the family have restarted the public
campaign to free Geldy. They would be grateful for any help, and three
form letters/faxes are available at this website.
though, please read the following:
help have been made to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and
- in Britain - local MPs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
(FCO). The latest FCO reply states:
British Embassy in Ashgabat sent a Note Verbale drawing
the attention of the Government of Turkmenistan to letters
to the Foreign Office from British MPs about Mr. Kyarizov.
The British Embassy also requested a meeting with Mr. Kyarizov
in order to gain reassurances about his health and welfare,
and made a request for information from the Turkmen Ministry
of Foreign Affairs concerning this matter.
Embassy in Ashgabat has continued to request authorisation
for its own officials to visit prisons and on 24 November
 the Ambassador again highlighted to the Turkmen
Foreign Minister the importance we attach to allowing the
International Red Cross (ICRC) unconditional access to prisons
Turkmen law, Geldy is now eligible for parole (see the letter
below by his wife) but this has been refused on the grounds described
by his sister-in-law:
have received a letter from the director of the prison who
has written to us that they can not release Geldy in conditional
release because of “bad behaviour” - because
he did not dance and sing a song and also he did not receive
the salary *. To dance and sing songs should come from
a man’s good will; I mean if he wants to dance and
sing songs he can do it, and if he doesn't want no one must
not press on him to do it. He can't do it. He is ill. This
is a violation of human rights. That means that they are
putting pressure on him, making him dance and entertain
the Administration of the prison. They are humiliating him!
How can a man who has had a heart attack, and whose left
side is paralysed, dance and entertain the Administration
of the prison?! He has high blood pressure and he can't
breathe normally. It is torture!
written to us (we have an official letter) that Geldy is
in the medical unit of the prison. Now we have an official
letter from the director of the prison that they humiliate
him. This all means that if he can't dance he will not be
in prison the prisoners must work, they receive salary.
This salary is given to their family or if the prisoner
has debts to the state that money goes to the state. But
in Geldy's case everything is different. He is ill and when
he came to prison he was ill already. He had had a heart
attack, his left side paralysed, high blood pressure and
he can't breathe normally. That means that he can't work
at all. We have an official letter from the department of
execution of punishment where they wrote that Geldy is in
medical department of the prison permanently. Geldy has
no debt to the state. That is why the question about salary
has no sense."
A letter from Geldy's
wife to the US Ambassador in Turkmenistan, explaining Geldy's situation:
the Ambassador of USA in Ashgabat
From Serebryanik Yu. L.
Of 1/26 A. Navoi
Dear Madam Ambassador,
I am the wife of Kyarizov G.K. My husband is Kyarizov Geldy
Kurbangeldyevich, born on the 18th January 1951 in Ashgabat
a Turkmen national, citizen of Turkmenistan, married and
with higher education, member of Democratic Party of Turkmenistan,
international expert on breeding and selection of pure bred
Akhal Teke horses, leading horse specialist of the world,
he was awarded the decoration “For love to the Nation”,
and two medals “Gairat” and “For love
to the Nation”, had no previous convictions, and was
working as the Managing Director of “Turkmen Atlyry”,
chairman of International Association of Akhal-Teke breeding
(MAAK) until his arrest on the 30/1/2002.
The warrant for his arrest was issued on the 06/02/2002.
Nazarov M, Kakaev H, Allakuliev and Ovezov A. personally
worked on his case. Allakuliev and Orazov often visited
him in his cell and threatened with physical harm not only
to him but to his entire family.
Nazarov pressured my husband to make a public appearance
on TV, threatening him with torture in case of his refusal.
My husband was forced to state that he stole 58 horses,
cars and 53 million manta. A cell mate was put into my husband’s
cell that was tortured with electric shock. This man bled
from his ears and his throat for several days. As a result
of such pressure my husband made a public appearance on
Due to inhumane living conditions in KNB* he had a heart
attack and was paralyzed on the left side. He also developed
pneumonia and lost 30kg of weight during his time in KNB.
During his trial my husband was very sick and was unable
to properly defend himself. At first he was accused of stealing
national property. There was no mention of overstepping
authority and negligence at this stage. He was found not
guilty. The Court found that no theft of horses or money
occurred. His confiscated property and money was returned.
He was found guilty on the account of negligence and overstepping
his authority under the sections 181 part 1, 181 part 2
and 188 part 1 of the Criminal Law of Turkmenistan. In accordance
with the verdict of Ashgabat city court, the time my husband
spent under arrest from 30/1/02 to 4/4/02 was equaled to
2 days of imprisonment.
Currently he is kept in LB-K/12
According to the section 76 of the Criminal Law of Turkmenistan,
he is entitled to be released on parole. Section 76 states:
- For a person
undergoing a punishment in the way of imprisonment for
a crime of low or medium severity, the Court, considering
the person’s behaviour during the time of imprisonment,
may substitute the remaining time of his punishment with
a softer option of the punishment. This person may be
cleared partially or completely from the remaining punishment.
- The substitution
of the remaining time of the punishment with a softer
option of the punishment may be applied after the person
in question has served no less then one third of their
original punishment term.
- When substituting
the remaining time of the punishment with a softer option
of punishment the court may choose any softer option of
punishment listed in the section 44 of this Law, within
the limits set for the appropriate type of punishment.
My husband was
convicted by Ashgabat city court on the 0/04/2002 under
the sections of 181 part 1, 181 part 2 and 188 part 1 of
the Criminal Law of Turkmenistan to serve 6 years of imprisonment.
with section 3 part 11 of the Criminal Law of Turkmenistan
these crimes are considered to belong to medium severity
category, therefore section 76 may be applied here.
For several years
we constantly submitted letters and petitions addressed
to the President, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan
and the Attorney General of Turkmenistan (answers attached).
On the 11/10/2004
a letter was submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs
of Turkmenistan asking to include my husband’s name
into the list of people granted parole. His name was not
included into this list. According to Turkmen Law he is
entitled to be released on parole.
I am currently
unemployed and I have two small children. We ask that you
look into this situation and make sure that my husband’s
constitutional rights are restored.
* translator’s note: KNB is Committee for National
Safety (like KGB was in its time).