The European Union and Turkmenistan are sitting down this week for their first dialogue on human rights. Ironically, Turkmen authorities only increased their attempts to silence independent voices in the country in the weeks leading up to the talks.
Civic activists and independent journalists -- including RFE/RL correspondents -- report harassment, intimidation, and even the detention of government opponents and their relatives.
In a new report
titled "Turkmenistan: No Effective Human Rights Reform," Amnesty International says there continues to be widespread and systematic" violations of human rights, and "impunity pervades for police, security services, and other government authorities despite promises of the government of President [Gurbanguly] Berdymukhammedov to protect human rights."
Read a full report on the EU talks by RFE/RL correspondent Gulnoza Saidazimova here.