A group of Turkmen rights groups and media working outside Turkmenistan published an open letter on September 21 to draw attention to the alarming situation regarding the spread of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan, where the government continues to deny that there has ever been a case.
The letter called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to use its influence to convince the Turkmen authorities to follow through on promises they have made to the WHO, such as providing samples from patients in Turkmenistan to independent laboratories. for tests, and to remind the Turkmen authorities that “governments are responsible for the health of their peoples …”
Turkmenistan’s outrageous claim that there is no COVID-19 in the country has received more international attention as the BBC and CNN recently reported on growing evidence that the virus is out of control in Turkmenistan as the government continues to deny the presence of the coronavirus there.
In this week’s Majlis podcast, RFE / RL’s media relations manager Muhammad Tahir hosts a discussion of the facts and fiction surrounding COVID-19 in Turkmenistan.
This week’s guests are: from the Netherlands, Ruslan Myatiev, the founder of the independent site Turkmen.news and one of the signatories of the open letter to WHO; from New York, Rachel Denber, deputy director of the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch; and Bruce Pannier, author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.
Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to Majlis on iTunes Or on Google Podcasts.