Esenov, Khalmurad

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

Esenov was part of the opposition movement in Turkmenistan in the early 1990s forced into exile in Russia (Sabol, 2010, p. 180).

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 1994.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests):

Turkmenistan requested the extradition of Esenov in November 1994, which was refused by Russia after Russian investigators “found no grounds for such charges against them” (Amnesty International, 1996).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

In November 1994, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested Esenov, responding to a request by Turkmenistan (Amnesty International, 1996). Along with his associate, Khalmurad Soyunov, Esenov was held at the Petrovka detention centre in Moscow, where they were told “they were being investigated for ‘preparing terrorist acts’, plotting to overthrow the Government of Turkmenistan, and illegally purchasing weapons” (Amnesty International, 1996). Russian authorities later gave in to “domestic and foreign pressure” releasing Esenov and Soyunov a month later (Amnesty International, 1996).

There are also “unconfirmed reports” that Esenov was tried in 1995 in absentia for crimes under the Turkmenistan Criminal Code and had been sentenced to death (Amnesty International, 1996).

Stage 3 details (attack/ abduction/ rendition/ torture/ assassination/ death):

In October 1994, Esenov was attacked in Moscow by a group of men who are “believed to have been from the Turkmen Committee for National Security (KNB) (Amnesty International, 1996). They knocked him to the floor and then stole his briefcase containing names of his associates (Amnesty International, 1996).

International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: , .

Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident):

Esenov has been granted political asylum in Sweden (Amnesty International, 1996).

Current status:

Living in Sweden with asylum status.

Press sources:

Amnesty International. (1996). TURKMENISTAN “Measures of persuasion” Recent concerns about possible prisoners of conscience and ill treatment of political opponents. Available: Last accessed 19th March 2018.


Sabol, S. (2010). Turkmenistan: Flawed, Fragile and Isolated. In: Kavalski, E Stable Outside, Fragile Inside? Post-Soviet Statehood in Central Asia. Surrey: Ashgate. p. 180.