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Russian Human Rights Federal Commission: Russian citizen Tukhbatullin should be released

SEU press-release

December 26, 2002.
On December 23 in Turkmenistan Farid Tukhbatullin, the employee of ecological club Dashoguza, the member of the International Socio-ecological Union (ISEU) has been arrested. Farid Tukhbatullin is the citizen of Russia

The only accusation against Farid Tukhbatullin for today is absurd: illegal crossing of border with Uzbekistan. There is no official confirmation of accusation received by the defence counsels of Tukhbatullin yet. At detention the activist is charged also with participation in the conference "Human Rights and the Safety Problem in Turkmenistan", which was held in the beginning of November in Moscow region (Russia) by the remedial centre "Memorial" and the International Helsinki Group. It causes serious alarm that Farid Tukhbatullin, who was never engaged in political activity, will be reckoned among the opposition and subjected to repression. The next burst of spy scare has began in Turkmenistan after attempted murder on Saparmurat Niyazov, the President of the country.

The environmental NGOs have started a fax campaign in support of Farid Tukhbatullin. Since December 25 in the Administration of Saparmurat Niyazov, the President of Turkmenistan the letters are sent with the request to take the situation under control and not to allow abuse of law concerning the ecological activist.

Ella Pamfilova, the chairman of the Commission on Human Rights at the Administration of the President of Russian Federation has sent a letter to Vladimir Rushailo, the secretary of Safety Council of Russian Federation. In the letter the request to Mr. Rushailo is contained to promote release of Farid Tukhbatullin during forthcoming official visit of the secretary in Turkmenistan (presumably January 2-3).

"I hope that the interest that Russia shows concerning its citizen, who has found himself in difficult situation abroad, first of all will protect him from probable illegal actions, and will have, in addition, positive political and public resonance both in Russia and in the countries where Russian diasores live," - Mrs. Pamfilova has wrote in the letter.

The International Socio-ecological Union (ISEU) has sent the letter to the President of Turkmenistan with demand to examine the situation concerning detention of the ecological activist. "We know the activity of Mr. Tukhbatullin, and we confirm that it has no any relation to the activity of opposition. Farid is engaged in the problems of nature conservation and monitoring of ecological situation. He is the ecological expert of a high level," - is said in the letter.

ISEU also has sent the letter to the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Russia. The ecologists and representatives of remedial organisations in different countries also have begun the fax campaign of protest.

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