Today is apparently my day to blog about extant dictatorships. Of course there are too many of them to cover, but I've already written posts about Iran and China, let's now "honour" Turkmenistan a bit, and also return to Bulgaria.
We Bulgarians are too overwhelmed by our hardships and too selfish to care about those who are in even more miserable situation. We often forget that, at least, we have been given freedom while billions of human beings are still oppressed, and we do not show much solidarity with them. Some of my earliest posts from 2006 (dated May 10, 12 and 15, respectively) told the story of a Belarussian dissident to whom our authorities refused political asylum.
On May 9, the Guerilla wrote a post about watching the documentary Shadow of the Holy Book. It "exposes the immorality of international companies doing business with the dictatorship of oil-and-gas-rich Turkmenistan, thus helping to hide its human rights and free speech abuses - all in the name of profit and corporate greed" (quote from the latter site). After discussing how easily companies based in democratic countries break their moral codes and become accomplices of a dictator, the Guerrilla adds, "Unfortunately, we heard (though it wasn't included in the documentary) that the Bulgarian state rendered Turkmenbashi the service to persecute Turkmeni dissidents on Bulgarian land... Damn gas deals!"
I have no details, so I can only hope that this isn't true! But I feel obliged to post it - let the Turkmenis are cautious about seeking asylum in Bulgaria.