NOVEMBER 10, 2016
On October 25, 2016, the president of Turkmenistan granted amnesty to over 1,500 prisoners. However, neither Bahram Hemdemov nor Mansur Masharipov, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses imprisoned in the LBK-12 prison colony in Seydi, was included in the amnesty.
Mr. Hemdemov has been detained since March 2015 for conducting a peaceful meeting for worship in his home in Turkmenabad. A Turkmenistan court sentenced him to four years in prison for alleged illegal religious activity. Mr. Masharipov, arrested in Ashgabad in June 2016 under false charges, was sentenced to one year in prison. Their families and Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide are disappointed that these two men were not released but hope that they will be considered when amnesty is next granted.