TURKMENISTAN: 24 hours in airport, travel ban for Korans

By Felix Corley | Forum 18

Security personnel at Ashgabad Airport detained a woman working in Turkey bringing in Arabic Korans as gifts for relatives, questioning her for 24 hours. She was later banned from leaving Turkmenistan. Police are again forcibly shaving men under 40 with beards. Officers forced one victim to drink alcohol.

In late December 2018, security personnel at the airport in the capital Ashgabad [Ashgabat] detained a local woman returning from work in Turkey because she had brought back copies of the Koran. She was held for 24 hours in the airport before being allowed to travel on to her home town. When she tried to return to Turkey in January, security personnel at the airport stopped her from leaving.

Radio Free Europe’s Turkmen Service, which reported on the detention, literature seizure and exit denial on 23 January, did not identify the Lebap Region resident for fear of state reprisals.