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Turkmenistan, EU Hold Human Rights Talks In Brussels

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
Officials from the European Union and Turkmenistan have held a second round of human rights talks in Brussels, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

Gabriela Dlouha, the director of Human Rights and Transition Policy at the Czech Foreign Ministry, told RFE/RL's Turkmen Service that discussions this week focused on the functioning of a civil society, press freedom, and freedom of expression, religion, movement, association, and assembly.

Other topics included prison conditions, torture, and judiciary reform.

Dlouha, who headed the Czech delegation, said the EU gave the Turkmen officials a list of specific cases -- including political prisoners -- that the bloc would like the Turkmen government to resolve.

The EU officials met with representatives from Turkmen and international NGOs before meeting the Turkmen government officials.

The next regular human-rights talks are due to take place next summer under the Spanish EU Presidency.

The Czech EU Presidency ended on June 30, and Sweden is now the EU president.

Swedish officials have indicated they will continue to press human rights issues with Turkmenistan during their presidency.