Central Asia: May 27, 2003


In Turkmenistan, the head of the air force (who is also a deputy defense minister) lost is jobs because of suspicion that he had some played some role in  the recent attempt on the life of president Saparmurat Niyazov. Unfortunately, a lot of people would like to see Niyazov dead. The corruption and mismanagement in government since 1999, when Niyazov got himself elected "president-for-life", has created an ever larger opposition to the current government. Niyazov is a former communist party  official who has turned Turkmenistan back into a police state.

The investigation into the assassination attempt has so far led to 700 arrests and the exile of another 2,000 people to a remote patch of desert.


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