Statement on the Death in Custody of Allamurat Allakuliev

Another Death of a Disappeared Person Underscores the Human Rights Crisis in Turkmenistan’s Prison System.

The Prove They Are Alive! campaign has learned from Alternative Turkmenistan News and Chronicles of Turkmenistan that former Head of the Fourth Department of the National Security Committee of Turkmenistan, Allamurat Allakuliev, has died after sixteen years of being disappeared in the prison system of Turkmenistan. According to Chronicles of Turkmenistan, Allakuliev died of a massive heart attack on March 10, 2018 in BLK/4, a special colony for former law enforcement officials, which is located in Balkan Velayat.

Allakuliev was arrested in the spring of 2002 and charged with “commission of grave and especially grave crimes” related to his work in the National Security Committee. He was convicted on June 15, 2002 by the Supreme Court of Turkmenistan of violating thirteen articles of the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan and sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment to be served in a strict security colony with confiscation of property.

Allakuliev’s death marks at least the 11th death in custody over the past three years by individuals included in the Prove They Are Alive! campaign’s list of the disappeared. They were serving long sentences and died in isolation before their bodies were returned to their loved ones.

On March 13, 2018, the Prove They Are Alive! campaign issued a statement about the death of former First Deputy Prosecutor General and former Head of the Investigative Department of the National Security Committee of Turkmenistan, Begmurad Otuzov, who died in custody in early February 2018 after more than 15 and a half years in full isolation in Ovadan Depe prison. During this time, he, like Allakuliev, had no contact with the outside world, including with his family, his lawyers, medical care providers, or representatives of international rights organizations.

Enforced disappearance of people sentenced to long prison terms is the most acute human rights problem in Turkmenistan. The Prove They Are Alive! campaign has compiled 113 documented cases of people kept in full isolation, some for as long as almost 16 years, with several dozen more people likely in the same situation.

The government of Turkmenistan’s continued practice of disappearing people into its prison system must stop, and the Prove They Are Alive! campaign calls upon the international community to publicly express its outrage and concern to the government of Turkmenistan.