Turkmenistan: Raids, fines, exit denial, bloodied hands

Turmenistan has, probably, the most oppressive regime of all the former Soviet republics (and there is quite a competition 😦 )

Here is the latest Forum 18 report about religiouspersections in this country.

* * *

Police and other unidentified officials who raided the home of a Baptist family in the northern city of Dashoguz dragged the father of the family, 77-year-old Begjan Shirmedov, from the house by his collar and beat the hands of his 68-year-old wife until they bled, Protestants told Forum 18 News Service. About 15 church members were questioned and religious literature seized. The raid came two weeks after a raid on another Protestant meeting in the city, with fines on three participants. One of those fined – Oleg Piyashev – was revisiting his homeland from Russia. A Russian and Turkmen citizen, he was banned from leaving Turkmenistan at Ashgabad airport on 23 September. The Russian Embassy told Forum 18 it is awaiting an explanation from the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.
A Turkmen-born Protestant Oleg Piyashev has been denied exit from Turkmenistan to return to his home in Russia, where he lives with his wife and family, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. He was barred exit at Ashgabad [Ashgabat] airport on 23 September, a week after he was among three Protestants fined for holding a religious meeting in the northern city of Dashoguz. In an apparently related incident, police and local officials raided a Baptist home in the city, detaining and questioning 77-year-old Baptist leader Begjan Shirmedov, beating the hands of his wife until they bled and threatening church members with prosecution.

(Read the entire article on the Forum 18 website.)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s