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Turkmen Official Says Election Observers Welcome --> Moradov says foreign election observers will be allowed (epa) January 21, 2007 -- Turkmen television today quoted Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov as saying that Turkmenistan will allow international observers to monitor next month's presidential elections.

The move would make the February 11 vote to replace autocratic President Saparmurat Niyazov the nation's first-ever election monitored by outside observers. Niyazov died in December.

Meredov told a cabinet meeting on January 20 that agreements were reached to invite election observers from Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and some other unspecified organizations.

Human Rights In Turkmenistan
Tajigul Begmedova speaking at RFE/RL in Prague on July 21 (RFE/RL)

LIFE UNDER NIYAZOV: On July 21, RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center hosted a presentation by TAJIGUL BEGMEDOVA, chairwoman of the Bulgaria-based Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (THF). Begmedova discussed the human rights situation in Turkmenistan under President Saparmural Niyazov, focusing on the arrests in June of THF activists and RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondent Ogulsapar Muradova. Begmedova, who graduated from the Institute of Economy in Moscow in 1987, fled Turkmenistan in 2002 and lives in exile in Sofia.


Listen to the complete presentation (36 minutes; presentation in Russian with consecutive translation into English):
Real Audio Windows Media

Some RFE/RL Coverage Of Human Rights In Turkmenistan:

Media Coverage Of Leader Distracts From Real Problems

Authorities Cast Wide Net In Conspiracy Allegations

Embattled Turkmen Writer Honored Abroad

RFE/RL Correspondent Recounts Arrest


RFE/RL coverage of Turkmenistan.

THE COMPLETE STORY: Click on the icon to view a dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.