U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released online from January 1, 1997 to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for current material from the Department of State. Or visit http://2001-2009.state.gov for information from that period. Archive sites are not updated, so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
U.S. Department of State

Great Seal

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


flag  bar

Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
March 17, 2000

Turkmenistan: Trial of Dissident Nurberdy Nurmamedov

The United States deeply deplores the circumstances of the arrest, trial and February 25 sentencing of Turkmen political activist Nurberdy Nurmamedov. As recently noted by the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the actions of the Government of Turkmenistan bring into serious question its commitment to OSCE principles and internationally recognized standards of human rights.

The handling of Mr. Nurmamedov's case falls far short of any acceptable standard of judicial due process. The trial was conducted in less than a day, and he was sentenced to five years of hard labor for attempted murder and the Soviet-era catchall crime of "hooliganism." The charges were based on a purely verbal altercation Mr. Nurmamedov had with a business partner, who himself stated that he had been neither threatened nor assaulted. Only a few family members were allowed to attend the trial, while U.S. and other foreign diplomats were denied the right to observe the proceedings.

In addition, Mr. Nurmamedov's son Murat, who was never arrested or formally charged, was called as a witness at his father's trial. He was then informed at the trial that he was a co-defendant and was summarily sentenced to two year's of hard labor.

The cases of Nurberdy and Murat Nurmamedov are unfortunate examples of the Government of Turkmenistan's continued disregard for internationally-recognized human rights. The U.S. Government believes that Nurberdy Nurmamedov deserves a new trial, conforming with the principles of due process and open to family and international observers. Murat Nurmamedov, who was never arrested or formally charged, should be released. The United States calls again on the Government of Turkmenistan to fully live up to its OSCE commitments and respect the rights of its citizens.

[end of document]

flag  bar

Press Statements Index | New Independent States | Department of State | Secretary of State