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former Horse Minister of Turkmenistan
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Geldy Released from Prison

Posted 10th October 2007

At last we have the news that we and so many people have been waiting for - Geldy is now at home with his family, having been released from prison in Turkmenistan's annual amnesty of prisoners, this year taking place on the 8th October.

News of his release has been reported through a number of outlets, including the BBC World Service and the website of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, which says

"The most notable figure freed was Geldy Kyarizov, the former director of the Government Association Turkmenatlary (Turkmen Horses) and an internationally renowned breeder of the famous Akhalteke horses. Kyarizov's prison term for "abuse of office" and "negligence" was due to expire in April 2008. Kyarizov was the subject of numerous clemency appeals to the Turkmen government by rights organizations. He had been held in detention since January 2002 and, according to Amnesty International, has long been in ill health."

See full RFE/RL report here.

Geldy was one of a reported 9,000 prisoners released in the amnesty. The widely-televised (in Turkmenistan) event known as the "Night of All Forgiveness" takes place in the holy month of Ramadan. It has been an annual feature since its inception in 1999, with the names of those released being published in the state newspapers.

A Phonecall to Geldy

Team Geldy member Gill has gone one step further and has today spoken to Geldy on the phone. Gill tells us that Geldy was in good spirits and that his health has improved noticeably. "He certainly sounded vigorous enough", said Gill.

The phonecall was understandably quite brief but Geldy made a point of sending his deepest thanks to everyone who supported him and kept his horses going. We had heard earlier, after Geldy had been moved out of the notorious Ovadan Depe prison, that his days there were some of his very darkest, and that it was the knowledge there were people outside working for his release that had played a large part in keeping him alive. All the efforts really have made a difference.

But although Geldy is now free, there remains much to do - the building of his new stud farm after the complete demolition of his original one while he was held in prison will be one of his priorities, and we are keeping the Geldy Fund open in order to support him with this. Please help in any way you can.

We hope to bring further news of Geldy's progress as we hear it. Thank you again to everyone who has helped over the last six years.

Changes in Turkmenistan

Steps are slowly being taken in Turkmenistan to improve matters, with the new president, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, reversing or amending some of his predecessor's harshest policies. There have been several changes since the swearing-in of President Berdymukhamedov and the Internet newspaper website has just reported:

"As the Ashgabat correspondent of has learnt from the press service of the head of state, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed a decree appointing Orazgeldi Amanmyradov, who worked as rector of the Military Academy of Turkmenistan, interior minister of Turkmenistan.

"Orazgeldi Amanmyradov replaced Hojamyrat Annagurbanov who has been relieved of his post for failing to supervise the ministry and for continuous abuse of law at an expanded meeting in the interior ministry of Turkmenistan on October 8.

"In the course of the meeting Prosecutor General of Turkmenistan Muhammetguly Ogshikov reported on the results of work check up in the interior ministry during which there were identified mass falsifications of evidence, distorted reports and "cases of nepotism", bribe taking and giving. "

See full report here.



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