Accessibility links

Breaking News


Tirkish Tyrmyev

The former deputy chief of Turkmenistan’s Committee for National Security (KNB), Tirkish Tyrmyev, has reportedly died in custody at the age of 66.

An international human rights campaign called Prove They Are Alive issued a statement on January 16 saying that Tyrmyev's body had been delivered to his relatives on January 13.

The group's statement came three days after Tyrmyev's daughter wrote on Facebook that her father's body was handed to their relatives in Ashgabat.

There was no official confirmation of Tyrmyev's death.

Sources in Ashgabat confirmed to RFE/RL that Tyrmyev's body was delivered to relatives.

Tyrmyev was arrested in April 2002 and sentenced in May 2002 to 10 years in prison on charges of abusing his power. Other top security officers were arrested with him, including KNB chief Muhammed Nazarov.

In 2012, just days before he was due to be released, Tyrmyev was convicted of attacking a prison guard. His prison term was extended to 2019.

A New Life For A Russian Girl And Her American Family
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:02:51 0:00

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that a Russian law barring Americans from adopting Russian children led to human rights violations.

The ruling posted on the Strasbourg court's website on January 17 said that the legislation, which President Vladimir Putin signed in December 2012, resulted in breaches of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights that prohibit discrimination and guarantee the right to respect for family life.

The court found that the ban illegally discriminated against prospective American parents of Russian-born children because it prevented their adoption "purely on the basis of the prospective parents' nationality," the ECHR said in a statement.

It also said the ban was "disproportionate to the [Russian] government's stated aims, given that it had been retroactive, indiscriminate, and was applied irrespective of the status of proceedings or the individual circumstances."

The complaint was filed by 45 U.S. citizens on behalf of themselves and the 27 Russian children they were in the final stages of adopting when the law took effect. The prospective parents said that "a bond had already formed between the adults and children" and that the ban "violated their right to family life," the court said.

The ECHR obliged Russia to pay the prospective parents a combined sum of 75,000 euros ($80,000) in compensation and 13,600 euros ($14,400) for expenses.

Russia plans to appeal the ruling, Moscow's representative to the court, Deputy Justice Minister Georgy Matyushkin, told Ekho Moskvy radio.

Putin signed the so-called Dima Yakovlev Law in retaliation to a U.S. law imposing asset freezes and travel bans on Russians accused by the United States of human rights abuses, including those believed involved in the death of whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail in 2009.

It contributed to a deterioration of Russian-U.S. ties that began around the time Putin revealed plans to return to the Kremlin in 2012 and accelerated after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More