Turkmenistan: Welcome to the ombuds office, or no trespassing

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Every few years, Turkmenistan submits itself to a grilling from the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The two-day session held last week stuck to the usual script. Committee members listed what could only, given the time constraints, be a minute portion of Turkmenistan’s shortcomings on human rights. Turkmen representatives replied with a barrage of obfuscations and distortions, unverifiable denials, and hollow pledges to do better. The basic bar that the government could try to meet would be to allow the 15 UN special procedures mandate holders – meaning such figures as the special rappo…

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