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What do turkmen dissidents & human rights activists think of Nokia-Siemens operations in Turkemenistan

The fact that european companies operate in developing countries is a good thing – but when a country is a dictatorship like Turkmenistan they compromise their country and European Union as a whole, as in the eyes of the population they represent these companies.

I dictatorships like Turkmenistan every western company must operate under the dictatorships terms, which is done by companies like Buoygues, Siemens, and others. This I can confirm myself.

They don't only discredit their representative countries in the eyes of the public only inside their borders, but perform dirty mandates abroad on behalf of dictators. If western companies would have not shown political and technical help, Niyazov's and his succesor's power would have not lasted this long.

These countries and countries that represent EU must create common norms of behaviour for companies operating abroad, and if these norms are not followed, the acts would lead to strict sanctions and condemning in their countries. A unique example in Turkmenistan history is when IKEA tried to start operations in the country – Swedish government gave a strict warning to the company, and IKEA had to pull out of the project.


Hudaiberdy Orazov

Exiled former head of National Bank of Turkmenistan,

and former corresponding prime minister,

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In principle I have nothing against Nokia-Siemens and it's products. The question is, who benefits from this new deal withTurkmenistan government; people of Turkmenistan, or Nokia-Siemens? It is known around the world, and I'm sure Nokia-Siemens knows this too, that Turkmenistan is a dictatorship where peoples lives are in total control. Equipment provided by Nokia-Siemens enables the Turkmenistan secret police to eavesdrop, and percecute anyone. Before Nokia-Siemens arrived in Turkmenistan, this kind of total eavesdropping was impossible, as the old Soviet Union didn't have that kind of power. I cannot say on what terms or what was the interest why Nokia-Siemens has offered it's products to Niyazov's dictatorship, but the truth is that Nokia-Siemens products are used today to for illegal purposes by Turkmenistan leadership.

It is difficult to start advicing anyone, but as long as Turkmenistan remains a dictatorship, Nokia-Siemens will not have any problems. Problems will come to them and many other companies when times will change in the country, and all the x-files will be opened, and the discussion will become public. Then people can claim for moral and material amends. Because fascism got it's refund, why is Turkmenbascism denied it? The only way I can advice Nokia-Siemens, is to tell them to stoop cooperating with the illegal state of Turkmenistan.


Khalmurad Soinov

Exiled Former Member of Parliament

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I use Nokia cellular phone myself and I don't have anything against this company celling its products and services in Turkmenistan as long as it doesn't get involved in illegal business and mean tricks by local government.

Siemens has already seriously compromised itself by giving kickbacks to Turkmen officials and dictator Niyazov himself. We also know that Siemens assisted Niyazov's regime in repression of dissent by spying on mobile network users.

Unfortunately, the European Union seeks for Turkmen natural resources so stubbornly that nobody cares about shocking human rights violations in Turkmenistan and financial immorality of its government.

I wish Nokia-Siemens all the best in Turkmenistan, and would like to remind them that whatever is done by night always appears by day.


BORIS SHIKMURADOV, JR

Political Refugee

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As far as I know, so far no big businesses have begun to collaborate with the new Turkmenistan government. Collaboration continues with the same Turkish companies and with Bouygues. But well-known businesses are demanding that the country applies laws that guarantee the security of their investments. They demand that Turkmenistan accept the same international arbitration committee laws. So in other words they don't want to trust the president's words, as the businessmen did before in Niyazov's time, as seen in your film.

If the Turkmenistan government starts to comply with generally accepted norms and rules, I think that there is no harm in Nokia-Siemens commencing operations in Turkmenistan.

I sincerely hope that this company won't start importing equipment into the country that makes it possible to control the communications of the people (phone calls, written exchange). Although apparently Berdymuhammedov is worried about his own safety, and possibly special departments are trying to get spying equipment from Nokia-Siemens.

I wouldn't like for this well-known company to risk its authority and image by connecting itself or linking itself with a young Turkmen dictator. Niyazov in the beginning talked about building democracy and complying with human rights. He was believed, too.


FARID TUHBATULLIN

Exiled Turkmen Human Rights Activist