Next spring Turkmenistan’s human rights record will be scrutinized in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a state peer review mechanism carried out under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council.
A submission for this review prepared by Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR) and International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), in cooperation with Human Rights Watch (HRW) documents the failure of Turkmenistan’s government to implement key recommendations it received during the previous UPR of the country in 2013. The joint NGO submission highlights serious and systematic violations with respect to the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly; freedom from torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances; freedom of movement; and the right to adequate compensation for the victims of forced evictions. It is based on information obtained by TIHR through its monitoring of developments in Turkmenistan with the help of an in-country network of activists, analyzes of national legislation and practice, as well as other relevant information.
The UPR involves a regular review of the human rights record of all UN member states on the basis of information provided by the states themselves, UN human rights bodies, as well as civil society organizations and other stake-holders. Reviews involve an inter-active exchange with the state under review by Human Rights Council members and observers and end with the adoption of an outcome report featuring recommendations to the state concerned.
During the last UPR of Turkmenistan in 2013, its government received a total of 185 recommendations on different human rights issues. Next year’s review of Turkmenistan is scheduled to take place in May 2018. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will prepare a summary of civil society concerns for this review based on the information received from NGOs.