Turkmenistan: travel-ban blacklists include over 30 thousand names


ASHGABAT (TCA) — In August 2018 the number of people included in the blacklists of those barred from exiting Turkmenistan reached 30,874, independent news website Chronicles of Turkmenistan reports with reference to Turkmenistan’s Independent Lawyers Association.

The citizens are included in the blacklists pursuant to the decisions of the National Security Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, and the State Migration Office.

Apart from this list, the travel ban has been imposed on other categories of residents. These are male residents who have not completed military service (the only exception are those who have draft deferment and were qualified unfit for the military service for medical reasons).

Moreover, there are some categories of Turkmenistan’s nationals who might be denied exit from the country pursuant to a personal decision made by an employee of the Migration Office or a National Security official at the border or in Ashgabat airport. No written instructions as to what criteria the special services representatives are guided by to grant an exit permit are available.

The following residents fall under these categories:

– men under 40 years old if a special services officer gets an impression that a resident may exit the country to join a terrorist organization or non-traditional religious groups;
– females under 35 if a special service officer suspects that a woman travel overseas to engage in prostitution;
– dual nationals who are reluctant to renounce one of the citizenships are also prevented from exiting Turkmenistan. The procedure for renouncing Turkmenistan citizenship takes from 6 to 18 months.

Those who travel overseas to undergo a course of treatment in foreign medical facilities are also experiencing difficulty when trying to leave the country.

Sergey Kwan