On 3 September 2014, the European External Action Service (EEAS) organized a briefing with NGO representatives in Brussels ahead of the upcoming EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue. It was attended by representatives of Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights and Turkmenistan’s Independent Lawyers’ Association, two well-known Turkmen human rights groups based in exile, as well as the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and International Partnership for Human Rights.
The purpose of the briefing was to discuss the human rights situation in Turkmenistan and priorities for the EU’s engagement with the Turkmen government in this area. The NGO representatives who attended the event highlighted recent developments of concern, as well as individual cases that they asked the EU to raise with the Turkmen authorities.
The sixth round of the annual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue is scheduled to take place in Brussels on 15 September.
The EU has committed itself to promoting human rights in all its external policies, and the 2007 EU Central Asia Strategy establishes human rights as a key element of relations with the governments of this region. With the adoption of this strategy, the EU also set out to engage in a “structured, regular and results-oriented” human rights dialogue with each of the Central Asian governments. Such dialogues are the held between EEAS representatives and Central Asian government officials behind closed doors. However, NGOs are consulted in advance.
For a recent overview of human rights developments in Turkmenistan, see the following report.