October 2022

Welcome to Caspian Voices, Crude Accountability's monthly newsletter for scholars, policy-makers, and civil society members with hard-to-find information from the Caspian and the Black Sea regions from the communities impacted by oil and gas development.

In this newsletter, find out some exciting news from the Prove They Are Alive! the campaign and the Civic Solidarity Platform, how our events at the OSCE Warsaw Human Dimension Conference went, and check out our latest mentions in the media.

Kaindy Lake in Tien Shan mountain, Kazakhstan. Picture © Adobe Stock

Atajan Reyimov and Sultan Bebitov released from Turkmen prison!

Atajan Reyimov and Sultan Bebitov were unjustly arrested in 2013 for their religious activities and connection with Bakhram Saparov. After the expiration of their first term of five years, Reyimov and Bebitov were reportedly offered release if they cooperated with the special services, but they declined. They have finally been released after almost 10 years in prison, with the outside world knowing little about their situations. 

Read the story here and here.

Civic Solidarity Platform Statement on the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize

Crude Accountability joined fellow members of the international Civiс Solidarity Platform in congratulating the winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. The Prize was rightly awarded to three active members of the coalition - the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine), "Memorial" (Russia), and Ales Bialiatski, founder and chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" (Belarus). Congratulations!

Read: Civic Solidarity Platform Statement on the award of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to three members of the Platform

Kazakhstan: Chinese Control of Oil and Gas is Mainly an Illusion

Despite all of the billions China has spent, it only controls a small portion of Kazakhstan's gas. Crude Accountability director Kate Watters spoke to Eurasianet.org about the impact of sanctions on Russia's gas on Kazakhstan's ability to export gas to the West and to China. 

Read: Казахстан: призрак китайского контроля над нефтью и газом — по большей части иллюзия

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is only the latest in a long line of engagements in which natural resources are used to finance military incursions

"Western oil companies are complicit in Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine," writes Kate Watters in her recent article for Inkstick Media. Watters indicts Western oil companies with continuing to do business with Russian oil companies through their joint venture, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium that runs from western Kazakhstan to the Black Sea in Russia. At least 10% of the oil transported through the CPC pipeline is Russian - and Russia's oil companies (and their sanctioned oligarch leaders) continue to earn profits. Much of Russia's federal budget comes from oil and gas revenues, so these profits are without a doubt contributing to the financing of Putin's war in Ukraine.

Read: Sidestepping the Sanctions on Russia

Crude Accountability Hosted a Panel on Climate Justice and Human Rights at the OSCE Human Dimension Conference

On September 28th, 2022, Crude Accountability and the Climate Justice Working Group of the Civic Solidarity Platform hosted a side event at the OSCE Warsaw Human Dimension Conference - one of the biggest human rights conferences in the region. 

The event was focused on energy, security, and human rights concerns related to the current energy and climate crisis in Europe and beyond. Connecting the climate crisis with the rise of authoritarianism, human rights abuses, violence, and war, the panel of experts from the OSCE region explored ways to address the future of energy in the region and encouraged more robust action from the international community to engage more deeply with climate issues.

Prove They Are Alive! Event at Warsaw Human Rights Conference

The Prove They Are Alive! campaign organized a panel discussion on enforced disappearances and torture in Turkmenistan, which provided new and updated information about the disappeared in Turkmenistan. Using satellite imagery and expert analysis, Elena Sorokina presented new findings about construction at the infamous Ovadan Depe prison, which holds most of Turkmenistan’s disappeared political prisoners. Panelists also presented recommendations on concrete steps needed to stop enforced disappearances in Turkmenistan 20 years after they began.

Images in this newsletter are licensed for editorial use via Adobe Stock or belong to Crude Accountability.

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