ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2018.07.09

View Adopted: 2022.10.26

Rashid Ruzimatov et al. v. Turkmenistan

Prohibiting individuals to leave Turkmenistan without providing grounds for an exit ban

Substantive Issues
  • Freedom of movement
  • Privacy
  • Right to family
Relevant Articles
  • Article 1 - OP1
  • Article 12
  • Article 17
Full Text


The authors of the communication are nationals of Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation. On 18 September 2002, the authors were brought for interrogation at the Ministry of Interior of Turkmenistan and were further interrogated by several other authorities. The interrogations concerned their son-in-law who was prosecuted in 2002 in connection to the illegal transfer of a large sum of money from the Central Bank of Turkmenistan. In February 2003, the first author was prevented from boarding a plane to Russia and learned about an exit ban imposed on him. The second author learned the same about herself as well. The third author came to visit his parents in Turkmenistan and was prevented from leaving in 2014. None of the authors received any reasons or notifications for the same. They submitted various appeals but the exit ban remained in force. As a result, the authors claim that their rights under articles 12 (right to freedom of movement) and 17 (right to privacy and family life) of the Covenant were violated by Turkmenistan.


The State party failed to submit information to the Committee regarding the admissibility and merits of the communication. Therefore, the Committee considered to examine whether the author’s allegations were properly substantiated. In the absence of contrary information from the State party regarding exhaustion of domestic remedies, the Committee found the claims admissible under article 5(2)(b) of the Optional Protocol and further that the claims were properly substantiated.


The Committee recalled its General Comment 27 on article 12, that a State party may restrict exercise of the right if it is provided by law and necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with other rights under the Covenant, and further that restrictions must be proportionate and appropriate to achieve their protective function. In the absence of the State party’s reply, the Committee noted that there was no information on the necessity or justification for the restrictions. The authors were not informed about the grounds and their requests for the same were not properly addressed by the State. Therefore, it concluded that there was a violation of article 12.

With regard to article 17, the Committee noted that the State party failed to inform the authors that they presented a risk to national security and did not provide information relating to whether the measures were arbitrary. As such, it considered the State party’s interference unreasonable and arbitrary, in violation of article 17.


The State Party, in furtherance of its obligation to provide the author with an effective remedy, is obligated, inter alia:

(a) To provide adequate compensation to the authors for the violation of their rights;

(b) To take all steps necessary to ensure the authors’ right to leave the country; and

(c) To prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.


Deadline: 26 April 2023

More information on the case:

Human Rights Watch – Human Rights Watch UPR Submission on Turkmenistan

By: Smrithi Ramakrishnan

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