Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (file photo) (official site)
March 19, 2007 -- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has restored pensions to more than 100,000 elderly citizens.
The new Code of Social Guarantees, published by official newspapers today, also resumes monthly maternity payments of $10, which are paid for 18 months after the birth of a child.
It raises pensions for widows of World War II veterans to $40 a month.
The minimum pension in Turkmenistan is currently $12 per month.
The move is part of a series of reforms reversing policies set by Berdymukhammedov's predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in December.
In February 2006, Niyazov took pensions away from more than 100,000 retirees, mostly farmers, slashed pensions for others, and canceled maternity payments, citing budget problems.
(AP, Interfax, Turkmen TV)
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 Listen to the complete presentation (36 minutes; presentation in Russian with consecutive translation into English):
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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
ARCHIVE RFE/RL coverage of Turkmenistan.
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