ACLJ Report to the UN: Turkmenistan’s Cruel Religious Persecution of Christians | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Turkmenistan’s Cruel Persecution of Christians

By ACLJ.org1507580311381

Worldwide attacks on religious freedom and expression are not phenomena of the past. Far from it, countries around the globe continue to hamper and harm fundamental rights. Countries that exhibit such a blatant disregard for the rule of law must be held accountable.

In a former post, we explained the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) as a notable form of social accountability utilized by the ACLJ to combat religious persecution. A number of years ago, the U.N. General Assembly established the Human Rights Council (HRC), which administers the UPR process in an effort to evaluate human rights based on country surveys. At every session of the UPR Working Group, it conducts evaluations of countries that have been selected ahead of time for review. This ensures that every country undergoes evaluation within a reasonable timeframe. Before the reviews occur, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) – such as the ACLJ through our affiliate, the European Centre for Law & Justice (ECLJ), with consultative status at the U.N. – have the opportunity to assist the HRC in its assessment of the status of human rights in each Member State. After the NGOs submit their reports, the UPR compiles a summary of the reports to inform its decisions. Through the ECLJ, we have actively engaged in this process over the past ten years by submitting reports that highlight religious freedom violations.

For instance, in 2016, the ECLJ submitted a country report on religious freedom in Uganda that was analyzed by the UPR Working Group. The UPR’s summary emphasized points from ECLJ’s report: “European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) highlighted reports that Christians, especially converts from Islam, have been attacked and even killed. They urged Uganda to protect Christians from violence through enforcement of religious freedom laws, police protection, prosecution of perpetrators.”

With this example in mind, the reports submitted by the ECLJ are truly critical to positively impacting worldwide religious freedom. And today, we seek to advocate for the people of Turkmenistan, which is under the review of the 28th Session of the UPR Working Group of the U.N. Human Rights Council. As we highlighted in our submitted report, the ECLJ is emphasizing the mistreatment of the Turkmen people, who suffer under a government that shows disdain for religious freedom and expression.

Consider, for instance, Karina, a Turkman teacher, who was coercively forced to resign from her job for translating Biblical material into the Turkmen language and refusing to renounce her Christian faith. Furthermore, think of Bahram Hemdemov, a member of a religious minority, who was arrested, imprisoned, and tortured for holding a religious gathering at his home and owning religious literature. This egregious violation of human rights gained the attention and involvement of the U.N. Committee Against Torture, which brought public attention to Bahram’s case and secured his release after he spent a year in prison. The stories of Karina and Bahram provide only a snapshot into the mass religious persecution occurring in Turkmenistan. Stories like theirs also highlight the pivotal role of social accountability that the UPR process plays in the international realm. Not everyone who undergoes religious persecution is as fortunate as Bahram to have U.N. intervention, which is why our involvement is so critical.

Not only do the UPR reports bring public attention to human rights violations, they also provide practical, boots-on-the-ground recommendations to the country as to what actions must be taken to address the pattern of violations. In our report, we recommended that the Working Group demand that Turkmenistan reform its body of laws in an effort to roll back its restrictions on fundamental rights. We further recommended that the Working Group demand that Turkmenistan guarantee religious freedom as its Constitution and international commitments dictate.

As for today’s review of Turkmenistan, it is our hope that the UPR Working Group will acknowledge Turkmenistan’s pervasive human rights violations and push the country towards effective religious freedom protections for its citizens.

Here at the ACLJ we will continue to fight for the people of Turkmenistan along with others struggling under similar regimes that harm the fundamental rights of their citizens daily. Attacks on something as near and dear as religious freedom cannot, and will not, go unnoticed. We will keep you updated as this process develops to ensure that religious freedom prevails.

Defend Persecuted Christians Worldwide

Persecuted Church  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

We’re mobilizing our offices worldwide and working in Congress to defend Christians. Support our work for the persecuted Church today.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

Demanding Help at the U.N. for Christians in Pakistan

By ACLJ.org1526917681604

It's horrifying. Pakistani Christians are terrorized, tortured, murdered – even sentenced to death – simply because of their faith. The Pakistani government seems unable or unwilling to protect its Christian citizens. We've just taken urgent action at the U.N. Human Rights Council, filing a crucial...

read more

ACLJ Sends Letter to Ambassador Haley Urging Action

By ACLJ.org1526565600000

As we have previously told you , the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council passed a critical resolution that would help bring ISIS to justice and provide the aid and security that the Christians and others victimized by the ISIS genocide so desperately need. The first step of Security Council...

read more

Judge Refuses to Allow Witnesses to Testify

By ACLJ.org1526420354851

In an outrageous miscarriage of justice, American Pastor Andrew Brunson’s trial just got a lot worse. In a cruel show of abject hostility and blatant disregard for any semblance of the rule of law – proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that this trial is a completely and utter sham – the Turkish...

read more

Turkish Judges Delay Pastor Andrew's Trial Yet Again

By CeCe Heil1525730034618

It’s an absolute outrage. Turkey is playing political games with an innocent pastor’s life. After the second day of trial – which came after a 3-week delay from the first day – the panel of judges has just thrown American Pastor Andrew Brunson back into prison – once again delaying the trial...

read more