Statement by the editorial board of "Chronicles of Turkmenistan"
Once again our website has been restored after another hacker attack on 5 December, which does not appear to be the final one. What is behind these increasingly frequent hacker attacks and threats addressed to the editorial board? What actions are we being urged to undertake?
Due to the policy pursued by the authorities, not a single independent information resource is available in Turkmenistan. Also, there are few Turkmen electronic media outlets outside the country. Regular attacks on our website "Chronicles of Turkmenistan" are an acknowledgement (or, rather appreciation) that our website greatly irritates the Turkmen leaders.
We publish material which is unpleasant for the authorities, highlighting numerous problems existing in the country. We are doing this in the hope that the government or a local administration will focus on resolving these problems. Yet it appears that it is easier for them to silence a small website rather than to address the pressing issues for the country, i.e. fulfill their direct responsibilities.
When the authorities deprive the residents of their basic rights and main freedoms, suppress any initiatives, even the most harmless, sooner or later the residents or select groups may switch from criticizing the authorities "from behind closed doors" to undertaking radical action.
Until recently we have intentionally restricted our activities to monitoring the human rights situation, publishing exclusive news from Turkmenistan and defending the rights of selected individuals. Even now we are not going to switch to radical action; we remain a non-partisan human rights organization. However, as a response to regular attacks and threats, we are expanding our information-related activities, launching cooperation with foreign reporters and experts and also providing support to civil peaceful initiatives inside Turkmenistan, which particular activists and groups of Turkmen residents have asked us to do.
From our side we consider it to be a justified and adequate response to the actions of the hackers, hired by the Turkmen special services.