Turkmenistan bans use of the word ‘coronavirus’

Coronavirus? What’s a coronavirus?

Turkmenistan‘s authoritarian executive has banned all makes use of of the phrase “coronavirus” from public discourse in a atypical try to regulate any point out of the COVID-19 illness.

State-controlled media had been ordered to not use the phrase and police are arresting voters who say “coronavirus” or put on face mask in public, in line with Journalists With out Borders (RSF), a world NGO devoted to selling unfastened speech.


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RSF cites the Turkmenistan Chronicle, one of the crucial nation’s “few assets of unbiased information,” in its reporting. The Chronicle revealed a tale previous this month appearing that “coronavirus” has been got rid of from all state Ministry of Well being pamphlets.

“The Turkmen government have lived as much as their popularity through adopting this excessive means for removing all details about the coronavirus,” mentioned Jeanne Cavelier, head of RSF’s Jap Europe and Central Asia table, in a remark.

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“This denial of data no longer handiest endangers the Turkmen voters maximum in danger but in addition reinforces the authoritarianism imposed through President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. We urge the world neighborhood to react and to take him to job for his systematic human rights violations.”


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Turkmenistan is a closed-off country of about five.eight million other people bordering on Iran.

Its chief, President Berdymukhamedov, is a strongman in the similar vein as best friend Russian President Vladimir Putin. The previous dentist loves driving horses, writing books about tea, and using speedy automobiles.

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He additionally presides over a “black hollow” of public data, in line with RSF.

In this April 23, 2011 file photo, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov smiles as he rides a horse with a dove on his shoulder at a ceremony in the capital Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

On this April 23, 2011 report picture, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov smiles as he rides a horse with a dove on his shoulder at a rite within the capital Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.


AP Photograph/Alexander Vershinin

The RSF says Turkmenistan is the worst nation on the earth for press freedom, in the back of even North Korea. Berdymukhamedov additionally has a “dire human rights document” for brutally punishing “all unauthorized varieties of spiritual and political expression,” in line with a Human Rights Watch (HRW) file revealed previous this month.

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“There’s a overall absence of media freedom in Turkmenistan,” the HRW file says.

Within the absence of science or positive phrases, Turkmenistan’s executive has been selling President Berdymukhamedov’s books concerning the medicinal powers of tea and incense.


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On March 13, as an example, the federal government informed other people to make use of smoke from burning herbs to “save you quite a lot of infectious illnesses,” bringing up the president’s books.

“The multi-volume paintings of the President of Turkmenistan additionally supplies data on some great benefits of pink pepper, which has lengthy been utilized in our nation for medicinal functions,” a portion of the federal government’s translated message says.

The rustic has shuttered many retail outlets, cancelled categories and closed borders to be able to forestall the virus, in line with Radio Azatlyk, some other unbiased outlet affiliated with Radio Loose Europe.

“On the similar time, the rustic’s government don’t tell voters concerning the coronavirus, however take measures to suppress panic a number of the inhabitants,” the opening studies.


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Radio Azatlyk has additionally reported on crackdowns in opposition to individuals who use the phrase “coronavirus.”

“They remove other people for any communicate concerning the coronavirus,” a correspondent in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, informed the opening. “Particular other people pay attention to the conversations in strains, at bus stops, on buses.”

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Turkmenistan has no longer reported any instances of the radical coronavirus to the International Well being Group, in line with WHO information from March 30.

It’s unclear whether or not the tea, the smoke or the repression are answerable for that quantity.

Questions on COVID-19? Right here are a few things you wish to have to grasp:

Well being officers warning in opposition to all world commute. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, starting March 26, in case they expand signs and to stop spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have additionally applied further suggestions or enforcement measures to make sure the ones returning to the world self-isolate.

Signs can come with fever, cough and problem respiring — similar to a chilly or flu. Some other people can expand a extra critical sickness. Other people maximum prone to this come with older adults and other people with critical power clinical stipulations like middle, lung or kidney illness. In the event you expand signs, touch public well being government.

To forestall the virus from spreading, professionals suggest widespread handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. In addition they suggest minimizing touch with others, staying house up to imaginable and keeping up a distance of 2 metres from folks should you pass out.

For complete COVID-19 protection from International Information, click on right here.

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