U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor > Human Rights > UN General Assembly Third Committee

UN Draft Resolution: Situation of Human Rights in Turkmenistan

Reaffirming that all Member States of the United Nations have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and the duty to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken under the various international instruments in this field,

Recalling its resolution 58/194 of 22 December 2003,

1. Welcomes:

a) The limited increase in the ability of certain religious minority groups, including the Baha’is, Baptists, Hare Krishnas and Seventh Day Adventists, to practise their religion;

b) The release in June 2004 of a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who had made conscientious objections to undertaking military service, but noting with concern that other Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to be jailed on the same charge;

c) The Government of Turkmenistan’s comments in May 2004 that interested representatives of the international community were welcome to visit Turkmen prisons and noting with satisfaction the Government of Turkmenistan’s preliminary discussions with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross regarding prison access;

d) That the Personal Envoy of the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE for Central Asia, has been given the opportunity for further dialogue with the Turkmen Government and hopes that a constructive dialogue on human rights issues is to be continued soon;

e) The submission of the national report under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the recent submission of the report under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to the Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the announcement of the Government of Turkmenistan that it intends to submit the report due under the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the end of the year 2004

f) The November 2, 2004 amendment to the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan rescinding Article 223/1, which stipulated criminal penalties for unregistered activities of public associations, including non-governmental organisations;

g) The invitation by the Government of Turkmenistan to the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities that was extended on November 16, 2004, to visit the country by the end of 2004.

2. Expresses its grave concern at the continuing and serious human rights violations occurring in Turkmenistan, in particular:

a) The persistence of a Governmental policy based on the repression of all political opposition activities;

b) The continuing abuse of the legal system through arbitrary detentions, imprisonment and surveillance of persons who try to exercise their freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and harassment of their families;

c) Further restrictions on the freedom of expression and opinion, including the loss of local retransmissions of the Russian language Radio Mayak, serious harassment endured by local correspondents and collaborators of Radio Liberty;

d) Continued restrictions on the exercise of the freedoms thought, conscience, religion and belief;

e) Continued discrimination by the Government of Turkmenistan against ethnic minorities in the fields of education, employment and forced displacement, despite assurances by the Government to stop this discrimination;

f) Constraints faced by civil society organisations, including the slow progress in the registration of Non-Governmental Organisations,

3. Regrets the decision of the Turkmen Government not to renew the accreditation for the Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, but hopes that Turkmen authorities will co-operate successfully with her successor,

4. Calls upon the Government of Turkmenistan:

a) To ensure full respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, in this regard, implement fully the measures set out in Commission on Human Rights resolutions 2004/12 and 2003/11;

b) To work closely with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with regard to the areas of concern and to cooperate fully with all the mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights and all the relevant United Nations treaty bodies;

c) To implement fully the recommendations outlined in the report of the Rapporteur of the Moscow Mechanism of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and to work constructively with the various institutions of the OSCE notably following the visit of the Personal Envoy of the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE for Central Asia, to work towards implementation of these recommendations and to make the necessary arrangements to fully facilitate a visit by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities by the end of 2004;

d) To release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience;

e) To give real substance to the Government of Turkmenistan’s May 2004 offer for interested representatives of the international community to visit Turkmen prisons by providing appropriate independent bodies, including the ICRC with full access to all places of detention in accordance with the usual modalities for those organisations and ensuring that lawyers and relatives have full and repeated access to all those in detention, including those convicted of involvement in the coup attempt of 25 November 2002;

f) To ensure that the forthcoming parliamentary elections will be held consistent with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections;

g) To remove the remaining  restrictions on the activities of public associations, including Non-Governmental Organisations, and to enable NGOs, particularly human rights organisations, and other civil society actors to carry out their activities without hindrance, building upon the November 2, 2004 amendment to the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan abolishing criminal penalties for unregistered activities of public associations.

5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the implementation of this resolution to the General Assembly at its 60th session.


  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.