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.

ACLJ Taking Action to Free Nigerian Christian Teen

By ACLJ.org1539628827401

Fifteen-year-old Leah Sharibu is facing death at the hands of Nigeria’s brutal jihadist militia Boko Haram because she is a Christian. Leah Sharibu was one of 110 Nigerian girls we told you had been kidnapped by the vile jihadist group Boko Haram – the militant West African radical Islamic army...

read more

American Pastor Andrew Brunson Has Been Released

By Jay Sekulow1539354324850

American Pastor Andrew Brunson has just been released from wrongful detainment in Turkey. We can confirm that after more than two years of detainment based on his Christian faith, Pastor Andrew is preparing to leave Turkey to return home to the United States. At the ACLJ, we represent Pastor Andrew...

read more

Asia Bibi’s Long-Awaited Appeal of Execution

By ACLJ.org1539090000000

After years of delays, seven years and eleven months to the day after she was sentenced to death by hanging for her Christian faith, Christian mom Asia Bibi has finally had her appeal heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A three-member panel of the Supreme Court of Pakistan consisting of Chief...

read more

Final Appeal of Execution for Christian Mom Asia Bibi

By ACLJ.org1538765586761

THIS COULD BE HER LAST CHANCE. Pakistan’s Supreme Court could determine whether Asia Bibi is hanged. A special bench of the Pakistani Supreme Court is reportedly meeting to hear Christian mom Asia Bibi’s appeal of her execution sentence over allegations of blasphemy in just 3 days. A three-member...

read more