Local group campaigns for Turkmen human rights activists
Sutton Coldfield Amnesty International is campaigning for three human rights activists in Turkmenistan.
The group, which meets monthly at Sutton Coldfield’s Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, is pressing the Turkmenistan Government to take action over the cases of Ogulsapar Muradova, Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khadzhiev.
The three people, two men and one woman, are a new action for the local branch of the human rights group which has committed to campaigning for the trio until their cases are resolved.
All three were arrested in June 2006 because of their membership of human rights organisation the Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation. Two months later they were all sentenced to between six and seven years in prison after being charged with firearms offences – charges with Amnesty International maintains were fabricated.
In September 2006 Ogulsapar Muradova, who was a mother of three children and a radio journalist, died while in custody. Her family believe this was as a result of torture.
Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardudy Khadzhiev remain in prison where Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience imprisoned solely for peacefully campaigning for human rights.
The Sutton Coldfield group has formally adopted the case as its latest Prisoner of Conscience following the release of its last Prisoner of Conscience, Burmese former student Myo Min Zaw in January of this year.
Group chairman Andrew Hindle said: “Turkmenistan has managed to keep its human rights abuses away from the headlines and people such as Ogulsapar, Annakurban and Sapardudy are suffering as a result.
“We are joining with other members of Amnesty International across the world to condemn such abuses and to campaign for the unconditional release of Annakurban and Sapardudy and for an official investigation into the cause of death of Ogulsapar.
“We are doing that through writing letters to members of the government in Turkmenistan and by raising awareness in the media about their case.”
Sutton Coldfield Amnesty International Group meets the second Tuesday of each month (except August) at 8pm at Holy Trinity Church, Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield B74 2NU. For more information see www2.amnesty.org.uk/groups/sutton-coldfield
Amnesty International campaigns for human rights and Prisoners of Conscience across the globe. For more information see www.amnesty.org.uk