Geldy Kyarizov is believed to be in extremely poor health and in urgent
need of medical treatment. He has been in prison for over five years, following
a trial that was not in line with international fair trial standards.
Geldy Kyarizov, former director of the Government Association Turkmenatlary
(Turkmen Horses) and an internationally renowned breeder of Akhalteke horses,
has been detained since 30 January 2002. He has suffered two heart attacks
and a stroke in detention and suffered from pneumonia. He has been denied
appropriate medical treatment for these conditions, which left him weak
On 29 January 2007, Geldy Kyarizov’s wife Yulia Serebryannik visited
him in Turkmenabad prison in the eastern Lebap region. After the visit,
she told a relative, “He is a skeleton with skin. His weight now
[is] 45-50 kilograms. You will never recognize him. He is like a walking
dead body.” Geldy Kyarizov is reportedly severely malnourished and
Geldy Kyarizov's wife, a doctor, had previously brought him medication
in detention. However, his whereabouts were unknown between September 2006
and January 2007, and his health has suffered as he has not received this
medication from the authorities. Geldy Kyarizov may be in grave danger
if he does not receive adequate treatment immediately.
Geldy Kyarizov was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by Ashgabat
city court on 4 April 2002 on charges including “abuse of office” and “negligence”.
It is alleged that the charges against Geldy Kyarizov were fabricated,
and that he may have been charged arbitrarily after falling out of
favour with the late President, Saparmurad Niyazov. It is believed that
Kyarizov was caught up in the politically motivated clampdown on
senior government officials carried out by the Niyazov regime. As part
clampdown numerous officials were demoted or dismissed from their
workplaces, and scores were imprisoned.
While Geldy Kyarizov was in pre-trial detention,
officers of the Ministry of National Security (MNS) reportedly pressurized
him to “confess” to
the charges. For example, three officers reportedly tortured a detainee
in Geldy Kyarizov’s presence by giving the detainee electric shocks
to his genitals. He was reportedly frequently interrogated during
this period for 24 hours without a break.
Geldy Kyarizov “disappeared” in September 2006. He was reportedly
transferred to another detention facility but his family was not informed
of his whereabouts. On 18 September an official from the Ministry of Internal
Affairs (MIA) reportedly informed Geldy Kyarizov's wife that he was not
registered as an inmate in any detention facility run by his Ministry.
On 13 December Geldy Kyarizov’s family was visited by a man who introduced
himself as an MNS official but did not present any identification.
He reportedly told them that Geldy Kyarizov had been tortured to death.
It was only at
the end of January 2007 that his family found out that he was still
alive and transferred back to Turkmenabad prison, where he had previously
Amnesty International is seriously concerned about the widespread abuse of
civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights in Turkmenistan.
According to official sources, Saparmurad Niyazov, who led the country
for 21 years, first as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of Turkmenistan and then, after the collapse of the Soviet
Union, as President of independent Turkmenistan, died early on 21 December
2006 of a heart attack. On the same day, the State Security Council and
the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan appointed Kurbanguly Berdymukhammedov,
the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Medical Industries,
as acting President. According to the Constitution, the powers of the President
should have been transferred to the chairperson of the Mejlis (Parliament).
However, the chairman of the Mejlis, Ovezgeldy Atayev, was dismissed on
21 December and criminal charges have reportedly been brought against him.
On 26 December the Halk Maslahaty (People’s
Council) approved the nomination of the acting President and another
five candidates for the
Presidential election due to take place on 11 February 2007. All
are members of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, the only registered
party in the
country. The interim government ignored calls by exiled opposition
groups to allow opposition leaders to run in the Presidential elections.
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as
possible, in English, Russian, Turkmen or your own language (fax
machines may only
be switched on during office hours, 5 hours ahead of GMT):
- expressing concern for the health of Geldy Kyarizov, the former director
of the Government Association Turkmenatlary;
- expressing concern that Geldy Kyarizov has not received adequate
medical treatment, and urging the authorities to provide Geldy
Kyarizov with all
necessary treatment immediately;
- urging the authorities to reveal where Geldy
Kyarizov was held incommunicado from September 2006 to January 2007,
and the reasons
for his four-month "disappearance";
- expressing concern at allegations that Geldy
Kyarizov was caught up in the clampdown on senior government officials
regime of Saparmurad
and that he may have been arbitrarily detained because he fell
out of the late President’s favour.
Acting President of Turkmenistan
Fax: + 993 12 35 51 12
Salutation: Dear Acting President of Turkmenistan
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Magtymguly Avenue, 83
Fax: + 993 12 35 42 41
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Turkmenistan accredited to your
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.
Check with the International
Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 March 2007.