Imprisonment of conscientious objectors Shadurdi Ushotov and Akmurat Egendurdiev

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Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Rashid Meredov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish. You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).

Dear Minister Rashid Meredov

I am very concerned about the recent arrests of conscientious objectors in Turkmenistan, and particulary about the sentencing of Shaduri Ushotov on 13 July 2009 (two years), and Akmurat Egendurdiev on 29 July 2009 (eighteen months). Both were sentenced for their refusal to perform military service.

Their trial and subsequent prison 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. I want to bring to your attention the decision of the Human Rights Committee on two cases of conscientious objectors from South Korea. In its decision, the Committee clarifies that not to provide for the right to conscientious objection is a violation of Article 18 of the ICCPR (CCPR/C/88/D/1321-1322/2004, 23 January 2007). This also applies to Turkmenistan.

I therefore urge you to immediately release all imprisoned conscientious objectors, and to follow the UN recommendations. I urge you to respect human rights.