World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Turkmenistan Laws Violate Human Rights

A Turkmenistan woman has to pay $50,000 if she wants to marry a foreign man

Every independent country of Central Asia is celebrated for its achievements or drawbacks. Mutual accusations, territorial disputes, bad attitude to democratic values and human rights, constantly changing laws and so on - Central Asian countries are well-known in the world for these reasons, basically. The leaders of former Soviet republics meet each other at times, praise each other, say that their nations are of one blood. However, political opinions of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan are totally different.

Turkmenistan, a "neutral" Central Asian country, and its "king," President  Saparmurat Niyazov, have been the talk of the day recently. In addition to that, Turkmenistan (with 5,5 million-strong population) has attracted very much attention of Russian media too.

Dmitry Rogozin, the chairman of the Committee for International Affairs of the Russian State Duma, said that Russian law-enforcement bodies investigate Turkmenistan's implication in the international terrorism and drugs trafficking. "Neutral" Turkmenistan allegedly delivered fuel to Afghanistan-based Talibs. The two houses of the Russian parliament will hold hearings on Turkmenistan at the end of June.

On the one had, civilized countries amend their laws in order to let their citizens avoid any problems. On the other hand, "neutral" Turkmenistan issues the laws, which cast the country many years in the past. Furthermore, Turkmen citizens have to face new problems at present. Russian diplomas of higher education are not recognized in Turkmenistan, women under 35 years old are not allowed to travel abroad, young men are not allowed to travel abroad if they did not serve in the army, families are not allowed to travel abroad either. Here is the funniest law: if a woman, a Turkmen citizen, wants to marry a foreign man, her partner will have to pay $50,000 to the State Treasury of Turkmenistan.

The president of the former USSR republic has a right to go on vacation in Switzerland, but his citizens have been deprived of that right, as well as of many other rights, which does not fit the International Bill of Human Rights at all. This brings up a question – who is going to stand up against President Niyazov? Russia and neighboring countries have been silent about it so far.

On the photo: Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov

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