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Turkmen Dissident Not Allowed To Run For Parliament

Gurbandurdy Durdykuliev
Turkmen dissident Gurbandurdy Durdykuliev has been disallowed by officials to register as a candidate for the country's December 14 parliamentary elections.

Durdykuliev, who lives in the western town of Balkanabad, says his application was rejected by local officials. He adds that there has been no campaigning even by registered candidates in the western Balkan province, where he lives.

Durdykuliev told RFE/RL's Turkmen Service that his passport was confiscated and that he is unable to go to Ashgabat to meet with representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Durdykuliev, 67, said he hopes to meet with OSCE officials when they come to his province to monitor the elections.

In 2004, Durdykuliev was forcibly incarcerated in a psychiatric clinic after sending a letter to then-President Saparmurat Niyazov requesting permission to hold a political demonstration. He was kept at the clinic for two years before being released. He says he was abused while detained.