Accessibility links

Breaking News

Turkmen First Graders Required To Give Family Information

First graders must provide details about family members that include ethnicity, places of birth and criminal records.
School children in Turkmenistan are being required to fill out a form that gives information on immediate family members going back three generations, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

Children entering the first grade must for the first time provide details about siblings, parents, and grandparents that includes ethnicity, birthdates, places of birth, occupations, residency, and criminal records.

Turkmen authorities have not offered any explanation for the new requirement.

Under former President Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in 2006, anyone applying for a government position had to fill out a similar form about relatives that in some cases went back seven generations.

At that time, the purpose was clear because the government had announced it wanted only ethnic Turkmen working in official posts.

Ashyr Geldiyev, a resident of the capital Ashgabat, told RFE/RL that the new regulation constitutes "government interference into the personal lives of its citizens."

Others say they are concerned the information could be used against them by the security forces in the future.