Turkmenistan: Andrey Zatoka is sentenced to 5 years of jail
The court in Turkmenistan announced its verdict on the case of environmental expert Andrey Zatoka. Ferghana.Ru learned that Zatoka was sentenced to five years of imprisonment in standard regime penal colony. The court convicted him on designed bodily injury under Article 108 of Criminal Code, Ferghana.Ru reported.
It has to be mentioned that Zatoka was condemned on intentional bodily injury of drug addict who had three convictions in the past. According to the environmentalist and his friends, the conflict was initiated by law enforcement bodies with special purpose to imprison prominent scientist and public figure.
Andrey Zatoka was detained on October 20 in the city market place when he was buying foodstuff for his birthday party. Andrey was attacked by unknown man. Zatoka attempted to avoid conflict but failed to do so - he was immediately stopped by policemen. Later on it was identified that "the victim" had broken hand and other injuries (although after the incident Kazakov was seen washing the cars and using both hands). Nonetheless, Zatoka was accused of intentional bodily injury.
Turkmen government already sued Zatoka. In January of 2007 he was sentenced by city court of Dashovuz to four years of conditional imprisonment. According to Zatoka's colleague at that time "Turkmenbashi ordered to suppress all public figures in order to avoid Georgian, Ukrainian and Kyrgyz scenario. Building spy and calumniator networks, special services started with rural area. The project ended with the death of Niyazov".
Many organizations, human rights activist and public figures protested against the detainment of Zatoka. On October 23 the International Socio-Environmental Club (ISEC) demanded Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to defend RF citizen Andrey Zatoka. So far there is no information about the official response although RF embassy representative in Ashgabat noted that "the embassy keeps up with the event".
Tuvak Yagmyrov, the lawyer of Andrey Zatoka, is going to appeal against court decision tomorrow.