Turkmenistan

In Turkmenistan, freedom of assembly is regulated by law No. 185-V “On the organization and conduct of meetings, actions, demonstrations, and other mass events” of 28 February 2015. The country has an authorization procedure for holding peaceful assemblies.

Procedure for organizing meetings

  • organizers must be citizens of Turkmenistan who have reached the legal age and permanently reside in the country 
  • organizers cannot be individuals with outstanding convictions; assembly cannot be organized by an individual who has been held administratively liable within last year 
  • the organizers must submit a notification about an assembly no earlier than 15 and no later than 10 days before it starts; single-person picket does not require prior notification 
  • local authorities shall review the notification within three days after receiving it 
  • organizers do not bear any expenses for the holding of the event; organizers are not allowed to receive money from foreign individuals and companies for the materiel and technical support of the event 

What is allowed by the law? 

We have analyzed the current laws concerning freedom of assembly in Turkmenistan. According to these documents, all the provisions that we have considered are prohibited in the country. If you can provide different information, please inform us via project email: media@ovdinfo.org.

Restrictions on the right to freedom of assembly

It is prohibited: 

  • to hold spontaneous meetings 
  • to hold meetings within 200 meters of Presidential residency, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Parliament, as well as near state media, crossovers, hazardous production facility and prisons
  • to hold meetings between 10 PM and 7 AM
  • to cover faces with masks 
  • to call for participation in assembly before receiving authorization 
  • to hold simultaneous meetings 

Liability 

  • participants and organizers can be fined up to $115 or arrested for up to 10 days for violating the rules of holding an assembly 
  • in case of further violation of the regulation on assemblies within a year the fines doubles, and the period of arrest increases to 15 days
  • organizers can also be held criminally liable for repeated violation of the regulation: a fine up to $2280 or arrest for up to 6 months 
  • civil servants can face a fine of up to $286 for obstructing a public assembly

Commentaries of experts and participants of public events

Researchers from Turkmenistan consider that freedom of peaceful assembly in the country to be almost completely restricted. According to them, in the entire history of Turkmenistan, only a few spontaneous rallies have been held in the country. In remote regions, the authorities require permission even to hold weddings and other celebrations. Our respondents note that no one has tried to get authorization to conduct a meeting in recent years. In very rare cases, the authorities decide to organize an action in support of the President. The Turkmen authorities ignore all decisions of the UN working groups that relate to violations of the right to freedom of assembly in the country.