Ashkhabad city dwellers harassed for proliferation of rumors
Even with the dictator gone, the Turkmen repressive apparat wouldn't let go of the citizenry.
Ferghana.Ru correspondents report that residents of the "orphaned" Ashkhabad are arrested for "proliferation of rumors derogatory to the regime". In at least two verified episodes cabmen and salesmen asked their charges and customers questions about the late Turkmenbashi. The contents of the "friendly chat" immediately became known to state security and the talkative Turkmens were bagged.
Several arrestees in detention cells, their families and acquaintances are interrogated for the purpose of determining their loyalty. No specific information on the arrestees is available at this point.
Law enforcement agencies follow orders given in the resolution of the new government on "maintenance of stability" pending election of the president.
Closing the joint meeting of the State Security Council and Cabinet on December 23, acting president G. Berdymuhammedov emphasized the necessity to keep an eye on "all aspects of life in the country, particularly that of availability of food, prices of bare necessities, uninterrupted work of all services and objects, and maintenance of security and stability in the country and unity of the people" (a quote from web portal Turkmenistan: Golden Age).
Insiders report that the number of police patrols in Ashkhabad remained more or less unchanged, save for the day of the funeral. State borders of Turkmenistan are closed in the meanwhile, passenger flights in the country are cancelled. Checkpoints were set up on all roads. Security in the airport of Ashkhabad was doubled. All autos from other regions of the country are herded out of the capital. Police cruisers patrol the streets in nighttime.