TURKMENISTAN Factfile: KNB Officers Engaged in the Persecution of Religious Believers

Keston News Service, 8 December 2000

Keston News Service has compiled a list of 42 officers of Turkmenistan's political police, the National Security Committee (KNB, a successor to the KGB), named by reliable sources to have been involved in persecution of those engaged in religious activity over the past few years. A number of them have been named by multiple sources. This list is inevitably far from complete, but includes full name and rank where known. Some officers may no longer be in service or may have transferred to other locations.

Accompanying each name is a description of the activities against religious believers they are reported to have been involved in, which includes arrests and detentions, interrogations of believers, raids and searches on private homes, beatings administered both in KNB stations and elsewhere, threats (which range from threats of beatings, rape or deportation to death threats), expulsion from a town or district, deportation from Turkmenistan, and confiscation of personal property including religious literature, audio and video tapes and other items. One officer in Serdar has been accused by a male believer of attempted rape. One officer in Ashgabad has been accused by a believer of attempts to recruit him as a spy within his community. Many KNB officers, however, decline to identify themselves while harassing believers.

Some sources have named Khudaiberchen Khudaiberdiyev as the officer in charge of religious affairs in the KNB. Others have named Karadjaev (first name unknown), who told believers he has been in charge of religious affairs in the KNB (and its predecessor, the KGB) since 1987. Keston has been unable to verify the accusations against individual KNB officers, but information is from sources that have a long track record of reliability.

Keston tried to seek a response from the KNB. Contacted by telephone on 7 December, the KNB main switchboard in Ashgabad initially denied that a Khudaiberchen Khudaiberdiyev worked for them. After persistent requests to speak to him the duty officer told Keston that Khudaiberdiyev was on a work trip to another city and would not be back for a week. He said he was not allowed to give out Khudaiberdiyev's direct number and declined to discuss his responsibilities. The officer refused to put Keston through to a press office, or even to say if the KNB has a press office. Despite explaining that Keston wanted to give the KNB an opportunity to respond to the serious accusations made against named KNB officers, the duty officer regretted he was unable to help. Two other KNB officers contacted directly by telephone both referred Keston to the main switchboard and declined to name any other officers Keston could speak to.

The KNB operates both at a national level and a local level, with branches in each city and district of the country. The KNB chairman is Muhammed Nazarov. The address of the main headquarters is: Komitet Natsionalnogo Bezopasnosti, Prospekt Magtymguly 91, 744000 Ashgabad, Turkmenistan.

Although a variety of state institutions have been involved in establishing the strict controls on religious activity and persecution of religious minority communities - including the Gengeshi (Council) for Religious Affairs, the police (militia), the procuracy, the Justice Ministry, the Education Ministry, and local authorities - the KNB appears to play a leading role in devising religious policy and implementing its punitive aspects.

 

KNB RELIGIOUS DEPARTMENT (formal status and name unknown)

Karadjaev [first name unknown] (interrogation, threats)

Khudaiberchen Saparovich Khudaiberdiyev (interrogation, threats, deportation)

 

ASHGABAD

Officers:

Akmamedov [first name unknown] (raids)

Akmuradov [first name unknown] (raids)

Akmurad Amanov (interrogations, searches, confiscations)

Akmurad Amnaniyazov (searches, confiscations)

Sapar Italmazov (arrests, interrogation, threats)

Oraz Nepesovich (confiscations, interrogations)

K. T. Nurmamedov (searches, confiscations)

Nurmuradov [first name unknown] (raids, searches, confiscations)

Muhammed Orazov (interrogation, recruitment attempt, threats)

R. B. Yevshanov (raids)

B. Zhumayev (raids)

 

DASHKHOVUZ

Chief:

Captain A. Tadjikov (raids)

 

Deputy chief:

Godjiev [first name unknown] (raids)

 

Officers:

Beknepesov [first name unknown] (interrogations)

Annageldi Djumayev (threats, arrests)

Geldimurat Khadyrov (raids)

Lieutenant M. Khasanov (raids)

Lt-Col. E. I. Lapshin (interrogations, confiscations)

Senior lieutenant Saparmurat Shekhiev (raids, interrogations, threats)

Redjapov [first name unknown] (interrogations, beatings)

 

KAAKHKA

Officer:

Begmurad Meredov (interrogation, threats)

 

KHAZAR (formerly CHELEKEN)

Officer:

Umarov [first name unknown] (searches, confiscations)

 

MARY

Officers:

Yusup Charryev (interrogation)

Mamed Kuldjayev (interrogation, threats)

Dovlat P. Yazykuliyev (raids, beatings, expulsion, deportation)

Suleiman [last name unknown] (raids, beatings, expulsion)

 

SERDAR (formerly KYZYL-ARBAT)

Chief:

Atadjan Myatiyev (interrogation, threats, beatings, attempted rape)

 

Officers:

Agadjan [last name unknown] (arrests, interrogation, beatings)

Nury [last name unknown] (interrogation, threats)

 

SEYDY

Chief:

Vepakuly Rebbenokulyyev (searches, interrogation, threats, raids, confiscations, expulsions)

 

Officers:

Khudaiberdiyev [first name unknown] (interrogation, threats, expulsion)

Soltanov [first name unknown] (interrogation, threats, expulsion)

Dovlet Yangibayev (raids)

 

TURKMENABAD (formerly CHARDJOU)

Chief:

Boreyev (threats)

 

Assistant chief:

Major A. Djapbarov (searches, confiscations)

 

Officers:

Akmamed Kh. Begniyazov (arrests, threats, beatings, confiscations, deportations)

Khojaev [first name unknown] (arrests)

 

TURKMENBASHI (formerly KRASNOVODSK)

Chief:

E. B. Djanymbaev (arrests, beatings)

 

Officers:

A. Toganklychev (searches, confiscations)

Ziyadov [first name unknown] (arrests)

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