Earlier in September, the European Union released a statement to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The statement singled out Turkmenistan’s government for its abuses.
For years, rights groups have drawn attention to the dozens of people who have been imprisoned in Turkmenistan and never heard from again. One such initiative is the Prove They Are Alive campaign, a coalition of rights organizations that are recording the number of people who have disappeared in Turkmenistan’s prisons and calling on Turkmen authorities to allow family members to visit their imprisoned kin or at least provide evidence they are still alive.
RFE/RL's Media-Relations Manager Muhammad Tahir moderated a discussion on the campaign to Prove They Are Alive.
The Virginia-based Crude Accountability organization and the New York-based Human Rights Watch are both part of the Prove They Are Alive campaign. Cofounder and executive director of Crude Accountability Kate Watters took part in the talk, as did deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch, Rachel Denber. Also joining was Farruh Yusupov, the director of RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk. I was glad to be able to say a few things too.
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