Campaign Update:

September 6, 2019: Today Gaspar Matalaev is finally freed having served his full sentence. Gaspar’s first message upon his release from prison was a big thank you to everyone who has supported him over the past 3 years. You can help support Gaspar’s recovery here.

Free Gaspar Matalaev

Embed this Campaign on Your Website

Embed this on Your Website. Copy the code below and paste it into the HTML on webpage where you want widget to appear.

Code copied to clipboard

On October 4, 2016, human rights activist Gaspar Matalaev was arrested in Turkmenistan, Central Asia. He has reportedly been subjected to torture by electric current to force him to confess to false charges of minor fraud. Repeated promises of his release have been broken.1

Gaspar is a prominent human rights activist in the country, where he has been monitoring the state-orchestrated forced labor system in the Turkmenistan cotton fields. His work has helped draw attention to the Turkmen Government’s annual mobilization of tens of thousands of citizens forced to pick cotton under threat of punishment.

Gaspar’s arrest came two days after he published a report on the extensive use of forced labor and child labor in the 2016 cotton harvest and one day after the Minister of National Security was severely reprimanded by the Turkmen President at a State Security Council meeting for not properly repressing activism in the country.2 It is clear Gaspar’s arrest was politically motivated.

This is not the first time the Turkmenistan Government has prosecuted human rights activists on politically motivated charges. This year, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on the Turkmen Government to end the harassment, torture and detention of those “seeking to document forced labour in the cotton harvest such as Gaspar Matalaev”.3 It is now up to the international community to speak out and demand action on behalf of the courageous monitors like Gaspar who put themselves at risk to help others.

Please sign our petition to demand the Turkmen Government immediately release Gaspar and allow him to continue his work in safety.

The petition number includes 11,255 signatures collected by our partner, International Labor Rights Forum.

 

Photo courtesy of Alternative Turkmenistan News: https://habartm.org/archives/5844

Apr 04, 2017 Campaign Launches

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.

1053
Leave a Reply

avatar
500
1022 Comment threads
31 Thread replies
66 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
973 Comment authors
lisa peltierGeorgieAlmut JürriesStacey AlmondChristopher Fletcher Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
lisa peltier
lisa peltier

You are not forgotten. We care very much!

Georgie
Georgie

My prayers are with you

Almut Jürries
Almut Jürries

With our minds and hearts we are near you and want to give you hope and trust!

Stacey Almond
Stacey Almond

He is a very brave man to speak out. I commend him 100%. The government of this country are blagards to try and discredit him and punish him in horrible ways. shame on this country.

Christopher Fletcher

Just donated $AUD50 NOT $US50. Please correct at your end amount subscribed

Call on the Turkmen Government to free Gaspar Matalaev

101,552 actions of 150,000 goal
101,552

To President Berdymuhamedov,

I call on you to immediately release Mr. Gaspar Matalaev from detention and allow him to continue his work as an independent monitor on the use of forced labor in the annual cotton harvest in Turkmenistan.

Mr. Matalaev was detained by Turkmenistan police on October 4, 2016 and reportedly subjected to torture by electric current to force a confession to charges of ‘fraud’. Though the charges against him are minor, the Turkmen authorities have refused to release Mr. Matalaev, despite allowing others charged with the same offense to go free.

We call on you to release Mr. Matalaev as a matter of urgency and to work with civil society actors like him to end forced labor in your cotton industry.

Freedom United will protect your privacy while updating you on campaigns, news and stories about modern slavery.

Latest Activity

  • ITXASO Z.,
  • Konstantina K.,
  • Julia T.,
  • Iva P.,
  • Sandra V.,
  • patrice B.,
  • James B.,
  • Joan S.,
  • Marlyn Y.,
  • Michael B.,

Campaign Partners

Deeper into this campaign