Ashgabat, 7 August 2012 (nCa) — The foreign ministry of Turkmenistan arranged Monday a briefing for the local and foreign media. The purpose was to acquaint the journalists with the contents of the legislative bills and resolutions recently passed by the parliament of Turkmenistan.
Senior officials (deputy ministers, heads of department) from the parliament, the foreign office, the interior ministry, the migration service, the ministry of water economy and the chamber of commerce spoke on the laws and resolutions specific to their areas of jurisdiction. The first deputy foreign minister of Turkmenistan, Wepa Hajiyev, anchored the briefing.
Here is the summary:
- A new article has been added to the Criminal Code of Turkmenistan. This article consists of three parts, bringing the definition of torture in the Turkmen laws in line with article 1 of the UN Convention on Prohibition of Torture. The new amendment to the Criminal Code provides for 3-8 years of imprisonment for anyone found guilty of practicing torture. In aggravating circumstances, this sentence can be 5-10 years. The recommendations of the UN and the legal experience of other countries were taken into account when drafting this amendment.
- Turkmenistan acceded to the convention on prohibition of torture (Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984) in April 1999. The first national report was prepared in 2010. The report was presented to the UN committee on torture in May 2011.
- The ministry of interior has the system to monitor the detention, correctional and confinement facilities for implementation of the provisions of the convention on prohibition of torture.
- The ministry of interior continues to work to improve the situation in the prisons, providing adequate medical care, nutrition and other facilities to the prisoners. The state budget allocated US $ 70 million for this purpose in 2011. This was raised to US $ 77 million in the current budget, of which 60% has been spent already.
- In 2011, Turkmenistan decided to build in Dashoguz a new penal colony for women. This is a project worth Manat 812 million (about US $ 287 million), of which 20% has been spent already on the ongoing work. The new penal colony is being built not because of high number of female prisoners but to provide them with better conditions. It will start functioning in January 2014. The new penal colony will have a hospital with a maternity ward, and a kindergarten.
- A joint expert group including Red Cross reps visited last year the under-construction prison for women in Dashoguz and studied the project documentation. They also visited the juvenile correctional facility in Bayramali.
- The juvenile correctional facility in Bayramali has a fully equipped school for educational studies and vocational training. Currently there are some 60 boys in the facility, age 15-17 years. They are free to move within the territory of the facility.
- On the base of monitoring results, medical equipment worth US $ 2.5 million was purchased for prisons.
- Turkmenistan’s accession to the Convention on Protection and Use of Trans-boundary Watercourses and International Lakes is another step in the direction of mutual cooperation for mutual benefit. Turkmenistan believes that due to common climatic conditions and geographic location many environmental issues can be addressed through a region-wide partnership. The rational use of water resources is one of the key factors for influencing the dynamics of socio-economic development of our states.
- The new law On Flora provides framework for effective and coherent use and reproduction of flora resources.
- The accession to the Convention on Reduction of Statelessness and approval of law on Refugees testify Turkmenistan’s commitment to refugees and stateless persons. The new law on refugees provides grounds and procedures for recognition of foreign citizens or stateless persons as refugees in Turkmenistan, and establishes economic, social and legal guarantees for protection of their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the Constitution of Turkmenistan, and generally recognized principles and norms of international law.
- The accession to the Convention on International Exhibitions will provide broader framework for raising the visibility of Turkmenistan. This year, Turkmenistan has already participated in six international exhibitions and hosted five exhibitions in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is a candidate for membership to the World Exhibition Bureau.