Azat Isakov, a Turkmen activist with the opposition movement Turkmenia, Unite! went missing in Russia on October 20, 2021, and reportedly reappeared later in Turkmenistan. According to a statement by Turkmenia, Unite! he is held incommunicado in the Ministry of National Security department in Turkmenabat, in north-east Turkmenistan. His fate and whereabouts must be officially confirmed. Azat Isakov is at imminent risk of torture and other ill-treatment, he must be released immediately.
- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on January 17, 2022.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Presidents of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
The Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan
to the United Nations
866 UN Plaza, Suite 540
New York, NY 10017 USA
Fax: (212) 486 25 21
Email: [email protected]
I am writing to you to express my deep concern over the safety of opposition activist Azat Isakov
whose whereabouts are unknown since he went missing from Nikonovo, a village in Moscow region in Russia, on October 20, 2021. He is believed to be held by the Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan.
Azat Isakov, a Tukmen labour migrant living in Russia, has been a vocal critic of the Turkmenistan government since 2019 and joined the opposition movements Turkmenia, Unite! On October 20, 2021, Isakov sent a message to a trusted contact explaining that he feared Russian policemen were about to arrest him. Since then all messages have stopped.
On November 9, 2021, a member of Turkmenia, Unite! received a formal response to their inquiry from the Russian Ministry of Interior indicating that Azat Isakov left the country on October 22, 2021. Azat Isakov could not have left the country through his own means because he did not possess the necessary travel documents.
Since 2020 Azat Isakov and his family members living in Turkmenistan have reported receiving constant threats from officers of the Ministry of National Security of Turkmenistan, including threats of abduction and rape of family members.
I respectfully urge you to do everything in your power to:
- Ensure the urgent disclosure of information on the fate and whereabouts of Azat Isakov;
- If he is in the custody of Turkmenistani law enforcement, ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that he has access to his family and any medical care he might require;
- Moreover, unless there is sufficient credible evidence to charge him with an internationally recognized criminal offence, ensure that Azat Isakov is released immediately.