International appeal for the release of Andrey Zatoka 23 October

Minister Rashid Meredov
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Prospect Makhtumkuli, 83
744000, Ashgabad
Fax: +993-12-35-42-41

October 23, 2009

Dear Minister Meredov:

On October 20, 2009, Mr. Andrey Zatoka, an internationally renowned environmental expert, was arrested in his hometown of Dashovuz, Turkmenistan and is being detained in prison on charges of inflicting bodily harm.

Mr. Zatoka is a well respected environmentalist who has contributed enormously to the Turkmen, Central Asian and international environmental movements.  He is a founding member of the International Socio-Ecological Union, founder of the Dashovuz Ecology Club, and has worked with many international environmental organizations including the United Nations.  He is a biologist who graduated from Ural State University, and who has worked in Turkmenistan protecting the environment for over 20 years.

Mr. Zatoka’s arrest has raised the concerns of the international community, which is closely monitoring Turkmenistan’s observance of international human rights obligations. We respectfully urge you to immediately and unconditionally release Andrey Zatoka, allowing him to return to his family.

His detainment causes great anxiety and concern among his friends and colleagues around the globe and creates a negative image of Turkmenistan in the eyes of the world. We are concerned for his safety and urge you to ensure his safety and immediate release.
Thank you for attention to this matter—we request that it be resolved immediately.


  1. Kate Watters, Crude Accountability, USA
  2. Michelle Kinman, Crude Accountability, USA
  3. Doug Norlen, Pacific Environment, USA
  4. Karin Lissakers, Revenue Watch Institute, USA
  5. Farid Tukhbatullin, Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights, Austria
  6. Enid Schreibman, Center for Safe Energy, USA
  7. Mika Minio-Paluello, PLATFORM, England
  8. Neil Tangri, GAIA, USA
  9. Alexey Zimenko, Biodiversity Conservation Center, Russia
  10. Mary Dalsin, Public Health Trust, Public Health Institute, USA
  11. Ivar Dale, Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Norway
  12. Yann Louvel, Friends of the Earth, France
  13. Valeria Enriquez, Fundar, Center for Analysis and Research, Mexico
  14. Regine Richter, Urgewald, Germany
  15. Jora Wolterink, BankTrack, The Netherlands
  16. Elena Gerebizza, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale, Italy
  17. David Gordon, Pacific Environment, USA
  18. Catherine Porter, Friends of the Ganges, USA
  19. Joe Dalsin, Advent Software, USA
  20. Natalie Bridgeman, Accountability Counsel, USA
  21. BJ Chisholm, California, USA
  22. Ann Pallasch, Virginia, USA
  23. Susie Wood, Tbilisi, Georgia
  24. Amy Wilson, California, USA
  25. John Sterling, California, USA
  26. Amy Forster Rothbart, New York, USA
  27. Amy Spagnola, South Carolina, USA
  28. Kim Schumaker, Virginia, USA
  29. Nelya Tukaeva, California, USA
  30. Viktor Sokolov, California, USA
  31. Elaine Attias, California, USA
  32. Melissa Overton, Missouri, USA
  33. Brian Overton, Missouri, USA
  34. Susan A. Crate, George Mason University, USA
  35. Erika Weinthal, Duke University, USA
  36. Zoya Talitskaya, Moscow, Russia
  37. Jim Boissonnault, Virginia, USA
  38. Susan Linsenbuehler, Germany
  39. Alice H. Grabowski, Virginia, USA
  40. John Musolino IV, California, USA
  41. Teresa Kinman, Nebraska, USA
  42. Rod Kinman, Nebraska, USA
  43. Jean Hardisty, Boston, MA, USA
  44. Anne Delaney
  45. Giorgi Tsintsadze, Biologist, Georgia
  46. Wendy Volkmann, USA
  47. Mele Lau, USA
  48. Melinda Marcus, Duke University, USA
  49. Francis Chandler, Environmental Consulting, USA
  50. James M. Dunn, Georgia, USA
  51. Tamara Kowalski, Texas, USA
  52. Debbie Chapman, California, USA
  53. Alexandra Ewing, Vanderbilt University, USA
  54. Lisa Swaim, Ohio, USA
  55. Patti Karr, California, USA
  56. Huub Scheele, Both ENDS, The Netherlands
  57. Kellie Bingman, North Carolina, USA
  58. Christa Watters, Virginia, USA
  59. Leslie Howerton Jones, Florida, USA
  60. Chris Musolino, Louisiana, USA
  61. Ashley Doucet, Louisiana, USA
  62. Sergey Solyanik, Crude Accountability, Kazakhstan
  63. Timur Berkeliev, Turkmenistan
  64. Pam Pavliscak Ellis, New York, USA
  65. Tatyana Lysenko, public environmental group “Za Zhizn!”, Russia
  66. Gavin Hayman, Campaigns Director, Global Witness, UK