U.S. Statement at the UPR of Turkmenistan

As delivered by Michele Roulbet

30th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group
Geneva, May 7, 2018

The United States welcomes the Turkmenistan delegation.

We appreciate efforts to work toward protections for conscientious objectors and improve conditions in the prison system.

We are concerned by continuing reports of the use of excessive force by security forces – allegedly, at times amounting to torture, arbitrary detention, and collective punishment to intimidate detained persons and coerce confessions.  We urge the government to allow all individuals to exercise their right to freedom of expression.

We note with concern the government’s undue restrictions and limitations placed on individuals’ freedoms of religion, expression, and movement.

Finally, we are deeply concerned by reports of harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, and the government’s practice of conducting enforced disappearances.

We make the following recommendations:

  1. Investigate and hold accountable officials suspected of committing torture or other serious human rights violations or abuses;
  2. Reform government practices that restrict freedoms of religion or belief, expression, and movement to ensure that individuals are not punished for expressing their opinions or beliefs;

Provide those who are imprisoned, including in Ovodan-Depe and Seydi prisons, access to independent inspectors and other visitors and permit those visitors to conduct private and fully confidential interviews with prisoners consistent with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners.