Friday, February 27, 2004

Freedom in Turkmenistan

OxBlog reports on yet another gross human rights violation in Turkmenistan, which should serve as a good warning to any nonchalant American anti-Communists or "anti-Islamofascists":
TURKMENISTAN'S PRESIDENT NIYAZOV today declared the wearing of beards and goatees illegal. Rather than any connection to Islam, as might more ordinarily be suspected for an ordinance concerning beards, it seems much more likely that Niyazov simply doesn't approve of the current fashion of goatees proliferating among the young men of Ashgabat. And this is just the latest in a string of odd prohibitions imposed by a crazed autocrat: for instance, it is also now forbidden in Turkmenistan to listen to car radios or to smoke in the street; opera and ballet performances have also been banned, on the grounds that they are 'unnecessary'; and the entire health care sector of the nation is about to be laid off, to be replaced by military conscripts.

The Argus is a neat blog about Central Asia and the Caucasus.

No comments:

Post a Comment