No Iranian Killed by Turkmen Police

No Iranian Killed by Turkmen PoliceNo Iranian Killed by Turkmen Police

A foreign ministry official denied the reports that an Iranian national has recently been shot dead by the Turkmen police in the Caspian Sea.

"Three accounts have been given about the recent incident: the occurrence of a shooting, the sinking of a boat and the killing of a compatriot, but the fact is that no one has been killed, no boat has been sunk and no shooting has taken place," Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi told ICANA on Friday.  

He explained that the incident happened in the Iranian calendar month of Aban (October-November), but not in the way reported by the media. "Foreign media unfortunately built on the report by the Iranian sources while the original news was false in the first place."

He clarified that there have been cases of death among Iranian detainees in Turkmenistan, but none of them has been in shootings or conflicts.

He said the foreign ministry has never denied arrests along the border, noting that inadvertent illegal entry into the territorial waters of neighbors is common due to the nature of maritime borders and can happen on a daily basis; however, such issues can be resolved through signing agreements between the border police of the two countries and in event of any arrests, the foreign ministries are obliged to take the required measures.

The diplomat said no Iranian has been killed in any border incident involving Turkmenistan in recent years, adding that the relationship between Tehran and Ashkhabad has been "good" and "friendly".    

  Transfer of Prisoners

He went on to say that an agreement on the Iranian and Turkmen prisoners which are held in the two countries was negotiated in his recent visit to Ashkhabad, expressing hope that the agreement would be signed in a planned visit of President Hassan Rouhani to the Central Asian country in the near future.

The agreement envisages three mechanisms with regard to the prisoners, namely the repatriation of offenders and criminals, the provision of legal assistance to the prisoners and the transfer of convicts, he stated.  The foreign ministry official also said of about 280 Iranians which were being held in the Turkmen prisons, 35 were released last month in exchange for two Turkmen prisoners.

Qashqavi added that the foreign ministry neither confirms nor denies the reports that Iranian nationals are mistreated by the Turkmen police.

Elsewhere, he said some 80 percent of the 3200 Iranian prisoners overseas are incarcerated on charges of illicit drug trafficking and illegal entry.