PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 61/06/98
EXTRA 45/98 Fear of imminent execution 7 July 1998
TURKMENISTANBayramsakhat ORAZSAKHATOV (in Russian, ___________ ___________)
Bayramsakhat Orazsakhatov is in imminent danger of execution. Amnesty
International recently learnt that he was sentenced to death at the end of
1997 for drug-trafficking. Although in Turkmenistan execution often takes place
very soon after sentence is passed, and with only the most perfunctory appeal
and clemency process, to the best of our knowledge he is still alive and therefore
a chance remains of saving his life.
Bayramsakhat Orazsakhatov was born in 1958, is married with two children and
is a resident of the village of Kyonekesir in Bakhardinsky region. He has no
previous criminal record.
According to reports, he is a former school physical education teacher whose
economic circumstances forced him to leave teaching and take up farming. He
took out a loan in order to sow potatoes but his crop was swept away in flooding.
Under pressure to return the loan, he succumbed to an invitation from
acquaintances to transport several kilos of raw opium in return for payment.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and without
reservation, on the grounds that it is a violation of the right to life and
the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Amnesty International is appealing to the President of Turkmenistan to
exercise his constitutional authority to commute this death sentence.
A new Criminal Code approved by the Majlis (parliament) in June 1997
provided for the death penalty for 17 offences. These include murder, genocide
and various anti-state and drug-related crimes. Although no official
statistics for use of the death penalty in Turkmenistan are available, it is
thought to be widely applied. An amnesty decree issued by the President in
June 1997 reportedly benefited 222 prisoners under sentence of death. This
was the first official indication that the number of people on death row was
as high as that stated by unofficial sources. Such sources informed Amnesty
International that, during 1997, several women were also sentenced to death
for drug-related offences (see Extra 01/98, EUR 61/01/98, 7 January 1998).
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
Russian or your own language:
- urging the President to use his constitutional authority and commute the
death sentence passed on Bayramsakhat Orazsakhatov, as well as all
other death sentences that come before him;
- urging that a moratorium be imposed on death sentences and executions
pending a comprehensive review of the death penalty.
President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurad Atayevich Niyazov
744000 g. Ashgabat
Prezidentu Turkmenistana NIYAZOVU S.A.
Telegrams: Prezidentu Niyazovu, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan