News Briefing Central Asia reports that despite -- or because of -- numerous restrictions on civil rights in Turkmenistan, public legal aid is becoming a growth industry.
About a year after Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov came to power in 1997, he began calling for legal advice centres to open. The numbers are still small for a nation of five million – about four centres in the capital Ashgabat and another six in urban areas around the country. Legal advice units also operate within state institutions and some other kinds of organisations, although not all are empowered to represent clients in court.
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It's good if more Turkmen citizens can try to get justice when their land is arbitrarily taken from them during some government renovation program
But as NBCA points out, it has its limits -- if citizens tried to raise more challenging issues like access to information, they could find themselves harassed or even jailed.
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