When characterizing Turkmenistan’s human rights record, international watchdogs often resort to descriptions that could come straight out of dystopian literature or memoirs of the Stalinist Terror. Turkmenistan continues to have one of the most brutal regimes on earth, a grim place marked by “enforced disappearances,” “draconian restrictions,” an all-powerful leader, and the dumping of nonconformists into “psychiatric facilities.” Then there are the mundane attempts to control access to information, such as when “Internet cafes require visitors to present their passports.”
Like the section on Uzbekistan, the Turkmenistan summary in Human Rights Watch’s new annual report offers EurasiaNet.org readers few surprises. But for the record, here are some of the grisly highlights:
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s authoritarian rule remains entrenched, highlighting Turkmenistan’s status as one of the world’s most repressive countries.
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