NEW YORK (October 6, 2017) — On October 4 and 5, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) submitted contributions to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Turkmenistan and Cuba.
In the individual submission for Turkmenistan, HRF pointed out that the situation of human rights in Turkmenistan has worsened since its last review in 2013. The report highlights the case of 18 individuals who were arbitrarily detained, convicted, and tortured for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of association. “Turkmenistan’s authoritarian government routinely suppresses dissent and is intolerant of minority cultural and religious groups. The U.N. Human Rights Council must press the government of Turkmenistan to answer for its egregious human rights abuses,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen.
HRF called on the government of Turkmenistan dictator Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to release the 18 prisoners and allow their families to seek compensation for their unjust imprisonment. HRF also urged the Turkmenistan government to ratify the Rome Statute and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED), and to invite special rapporteurs and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for country visits.
In a joint submission with Cuba Archive and Cubalex on Cuba, HRF stressed that, for decades, the Castro regime has systematically violated the right to life of individuals who express their disagreement with the government.
Halvorssen went on to comment on Cuba’s human rights abuses: “It is an outrage that, after 58 years under the Castros’ iron grip, the international community has failed to hold the Cuban regime accountable for the hundreds of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings committed against prodemocracy dissidents. Do not believe the Cuban government’s propaganda. In truth, very little has changed for those in Cuba who still long for freedom.”
HRF called on the U.N. to demand that Cuba conduct independent investigations of suspected enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, and to allow international experts and observers to participate in those investigations.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.