Tuesday, August 21, 2007

USCIRF Delegation Visiting Turkmenistan

A delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom yesterday began a 6-day visit to Turkmenistan where they will meet with government officials and be greeted by the country's president. Turkmenistan.ru reports that the group is headed by USCIRF Chairman Michael Kromartin. In May, USCIRF recommended that Turkmenistan be added to the U.S. list of "countries of particular concern", a compilation of nations with the most egregious records of trampling on religious rights. (See prior posting.) Last January, USCIRF issued a long release on conditions in Turkmenistan, emphasizing the possibility for human rights reform with the death of former president Saparmurat Niyazov.