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UN Committee Criticizes Turkmenistan Over Rights --> The Independence Day parade in Ashgabat in October (AFP) 22 November 2005 -- A committee of the United Nations General Assembly has expressed serious concerns about the repression of political opposition groups, censorship of all media, and an abusive legal system in Turkmenistan.

The resolution was adopted on 21 November by the General Assembly's Social and Humanitarian Committee by a vote of 70 to 38, with 58 abstentions.

The resolution accused the Turkmen authorities of restricting freedom of thought, assembly, conscience, and religion.

It calls on the Turkmen authorities to end harassment and the detention of members of religious minorities, to clean up the country's prison system, and prosecute those responsible for human rights abuses.

All 191 UN member states have a seat on the panel.

The panel last week adopted measures critical of the human rights records of Iran, Myanmar, and North Korea.