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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ASHGABAT1015
2006-09-29 13:00:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ashgabat
Cable title:  

U.S., UK, FRANCE AND OSCE UNITE BEHIND FREEDOM OF

Tags:   PHUM  PREL  PGOV  TX 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO4802
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHAH #1015/01 2721300
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 291300Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7850
INFO RUCNOSC/OSCE POST COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0440
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1213
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-2/REA/NMJIC-J2//
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0411
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASHGABAT 001015 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN (PERRY) AND EUR/OSCE
WARSAW PLEASE PASS TO U.S. DELEGATION TO THE HDIM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2016
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV TX
SUBJECT: U.S., UK, FRANCE AND OSCE UNITE BEHIND FREEDOM OF
MOVEMENT CASE IN TURKMENISTAN

REF: ASHGABAT 950

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires a.i. Jennifer L. Brush for reasons 1.4
(B) and (D).

Summary and Comment
-------------------



1. (C) The U.S., United Kingdom, French and OSCE missions in
Ashgabat have agreed to send Turkmenistan's Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) individual diplomatic notes protesting
a freedom of movement case in which the complainants, acting
under the advice of the OSCE, have recently exhausted all
legal remedies. The case, involving the niece of a former
Central Bank chairman accused of corruption who was denied
permission to depart Turkmenistan, is the best-documented
freedom of movement violation embassy has seen so far under
Turkmenistan's 2005 Law on Migration. The case constitutes
an exemplar for U.S. demands in connection with extension of
the Jackson-Vanik waiver that there be greater transparency
in reasons for inclusion on Turkmenistan's black list and
steps that must be taken to get one's name removed from the
list. It is also one of three specific cases embassy has
advocated as requisite for extending the amendment. Benjamin
Moreau, the OSCE mission's human dimension officer (please
protect), told embassy he has requested legal experts at the
OSCE's Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Initiatives and
Human Rights (ODIHR) to review and comment on the Law on
Migration, and hopes that ODIHR's conclusions and
recommendations can be passed to Turkmenistan's leaders by
either OSCE Ambassador to Turkmenistan Djikic or the ODIHR's
Ambassador Christian Strohal, if he can be persuaded to make
a visit to Ashgabat. End Summary and Comment.

Annaeva Case


--------------------------





2. (SBU) In June, embassy received a visit from Selbi
Annaeva, the niece of former Central Bank of Turkmenistan
chairman and deputy chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers
Hudayberdi Orazov, who was accused of corruption. Annaeva,
who had returned to Turkmenistan from China to visit her
family, had been studying in the Beijing University of
Languages and Culture; she had been twice denied permission
to board a plane back to Beijing. Embassy referred Annaeva
and her mother, Svetlana Orazova, to the OSCE mission for
legal advice and raised the case with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in a diplomatic note. Charge subequently has raised
the case with Foreign Minister Meredov on numerous occasions
noting it was one of three cases the USG was citing as reason
for not extending the Jackson-Vanik Amendment waiver.



3. (SBU) Since June, Annaeva, advised by the OSCE mission's
expert in Turkmenistan law, has been navigating the legal
system here in an attempt to have the ban on her departure
lifted. Embassy has been following the case closely through
the OSCE. In September, Annaeva finally exhausted all legal
remedies after Turkmenistan's Supreme Court referred her case

back to the Ashgabat city court, which upheld its original
decision. The OSCE mission's human dimension officer,
Benjamin Moreau, on September 27 passed to the embassy a note
verbale which the OSCE mission had sent to the MFA on
September 25; embassy agreed to send in a parallel diplomatic
note in order to stress the importance of the case. The UK
and French ambassadors, when emboff told them of the case,
also agreed to raise the case separately with the MFA.

U.S. Diplomatic Note


--------------------------





4. (SBU) Begin text of U.S. diplomatic note 965/06 of
September 28:


"The Embassy of the United States....has the honor to request
the Ministry's assistance in obtaining information regarding
the travel restriction imposed on Ms.Selbi Annaeva, who was
prevented from leaving Turkmenistan on June 7, 2006.

Ms. Annaeva is a student at the Beijing University of
Languages and Culture. On 31 May 2006, she arrived in
Ashgabat to visit her family. On 7 June 2006, when she was

ASHGABAT 00001015 002 OF 003


returning to China to resume her studies, the State Service
for Registration of Foreign Citizens told Ms. Annaeva without
providing a reason that she was prohibited from leaving
Turkmenistan.

Ms. Annaeva's mother, Svetlana Orazova complained to the
State Service for Registration of Foreign Citizens and other
authorities. The State Service for Registration of Foreign
Citizens did not answer her complaint. The
Prosecutor-General's Office sent a letter informing that Ms.
Orazova's family members are prohibited from leaving the
country on the basis of Article 32 of the Law on Migration of
December 7, 2005. However, the letter did not specify which
of the grounds for temporary limitation on the right to exit
spelled out in paragraphs 1-11 of Article 32(1) of the Law on
Migration was applied to Ms. Annaeva and for how long.

Ms. Orazova has appealed the exit ban in courts (copies of
the appeals are attached). On July 29, 2006, the Kopetdag
district court did not accept Ms. Orazova's suit for
consideration on its merits. Ms. Orazova lodged a request
for an appellate hearing with the Ashgabat city court, which
turned down the appeal. The city court admitted that it was
not clear from the case materials which of the criteria
listed in Article 32(1) of the Law on Migration was the
grounds for banning Ms. Orazova's daughter from exiting
Turkmenistan. However, the city court pointed to Article
33(2) of the Law on Migration, which notes that preventing
citizens of Turkmenistan from exiting Turkmenistan on the
grounds stipulated in paragraphs 2-4 and 7-8 of Article 32(1)
of the Law may not be appealed. Therefore, the city court
argued, the district court had lawfully refused to accept Ms.
Orazova's suit for consideration. Ms. Orazova, then appealed
to the Supreme Court for reconsideration of both the district
and city court decisions under the supervisory review
procedure. The Supreme Court referred the case back to the
city court, which upheld its original decision.

The Embassy of the United States understands that the right
to exit Turkmenistan is regulated in Article 1 of the Law on
Exiting and Entering Turkmenistan by the Citizens of
Turkmenistan of 15 June 1995 as amended on 22 April 2002 and
14 June 2003, and Article 26(1) of the Law on Migration.
According to these articles, the right of departure may only
be temporarily limited on the basis of Article 32 of the Law
on Migration; Articles 16 and 21 of the Constitution of
Turkmenistan stipulate that the authorities may restrict the
rights of citizens only in strict compliance with the law.
Therefore, for a departure ban to be valid and lawful, it
must be (1) temporary and (2) meet at least one of criteria
listed in Article 32(1) of the Law on Migration. Citizens of
Turkmenistan have the right to be informed in an official
document issued by a relevant authority of the grounds under
which their rights are being curtailed. If such a document
is not issued, any ban on exit should be viewed as null and
void and contrary to the law of Turkmenistan.

The Embassy reiterates to the Ministry the high significance
it attaches to the issue of freedomof movement in
Turkmenistan and expresses its concern about travel
restriction cases in Turkmenistan, as well as the
consequences for extension of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment
waiver.

(Complimentary closing)"

End Text of U.S. Diplomatic Note 965/06.

Follow-up Action by the OSCE Mission


--------------------------





5. (C) Moreau told emboff that he had also requested
international human rights law experts at the OSCE's ODIHR to
review and comment on the Law on Migration. The preliminary
assessment, which identified and made recommendations on a
number of problem areas in the law, had already been
completed; Moreau was still ironing out a few areas of
misunderstanding. Moreau hoped that the review could be
passed to the Government of Turkmenistan soon, preferably
during a visit by ODIHR's Ambassador Strohal, if the latter
could be persuaded to abandon his position that the human
rights situation in Turkmenistan was so bad that the country

ASHGABAT 00001015 003 OF 003


did not merit a visit by ODIHR's head. If Strohal could not
be persuaded to visit, then Moreau planned to have OSCE
Ambassador to Turkmenistan Djikic deliver the text to
Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashit Meredov.

BRUSH