The government of Turkmenistan combines some of the most odious aspects of misrule seen in the world today.
It's a police state where the slightest expression of dissent provokes extreme responses while a small group of people around the president continually siphon off the country's money, leaving citizens in poverty.
Information provided by authorities is, at best, unreliable, and in the worst case, ridiculously false, such as the claim that there have never been any cases of coronavirus in the country.
A recent report from the U.S.-based NGO Crude Accountability delves deeply into the corruption, nepotism, and misrule that have characterized Turkmenistan's government through nearly 30 years and two presidents.
On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion that looks at the report and more about what has been happening in Turkmenistan in recent days.
This week's guests are: from Britain, the author of the Crude Accountability report Tom Mayne, who is also a researcher at the University of Exeter; from London, Maximilian Hess, currently a fellow with the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute; from Prague, Farruh Yusupov, the director of RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.