TURKMENISTAN: CO Amirlan Tolkachev imprisoned for eighteen months


Amirlan Tolkachev, a 20-year old Jehovah's Witness conscientious objector in Turkmenistan, has been sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment.

You can send a protest email here.

Background information
This sentence is a violation of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the right to conscientious objection. Turkmenistan is a party to the ICCPR. As such, it is bound by the standards set out in the Covenant.

In the past months, at least fifteen COs who have been imprisoned in Turkmenistan's Seydi Labour Camp in recent years have filed complaints with the UN Human Rights Committee. The last of these complaints was filed yesterday (29 August). These complainants have been undeterred by the reprisals meted out against the families of those who have complained in previous years (see /node/21306).

After Turkmenistan's most recent Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in April this year, the Turkmen delegation promised to respond to the Human Rights Council by September 2013 on many UPR recommendations submitted by other governments, including one to "protect the rights of conscientious objectors". This opportunity for reform needs to be taken.

What you can do
War Resisters' International calls for protest letters to the Turkmen authorities, and Turkmen embassies abroad, either by fax, email or letter.

A protest email can be sent at /node/22288

Please also write to:
Kurbanguly Berdymuhammedov
President of Turkmenistan
Apparat Prezidenta
744000 Ashgabat
Fax: +993 12 355112

You can find a list of embassies abroad here.

War Resisters' International calls for Amirlan Tolkachev to be immediately released, along with all other conscientious objectors imprisoned in Turkmenistan.

Hannah Brock
War Resisters' International