Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

RFE/RL unable to reach reporter


New York, July 11, 2008—A contributing reporter for the Turkmen Service of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) who was forcibly held for two weeks in two different psychiatric facilities has now had his phone disabled, according to RFE/RL.

Bowing to international pressure, authorities freed Sazak Durdymuradov on July 3. A security officer warned him to “go and tell the truth” about his treatment in detention, and not to “slander” in his broadcasts, he said. Reports of Durdymuradov’s unlawful detention and alleged torture had outraged the international community, which called for his immediate release. CPJ attempted to interview Durdymuradov today, but was unable to get through to him.

July 11, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

RFE/RL journalist tortured, forced into a psychiatric hospital


New York, June 26, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the abduction, torture, and forcible psychiatric hospitalization of Sazak Durdymuradov, a contributing reporter for the Turkmen Service of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), in the Western city of Bakhaden.

According to RFE/RL, Durdymuradov was seized by agents of the secret police (MNB) from his Bakhaden home on June 20 and forcibly taken to a local psychiatric clinic, then shuttled to an MNB station where he was severely beaten, tortured with electroshock, and pressured to sign a letter that said he agreed to stop reporting for RFE/RL. Colleagues say they believe that Durdymuradov was then transferred to a psychiatric hospital in the eastern Lebap region, notorious for “admitting” critics of the Turkmen regime, RFE/RL Turkmen Service Director Oguljamal Yazliyeva told CPJ. However, Durdymuradov’s whereabouts have yet to be confirmed. When RFE/RL contacted MNB authorities to find out where Durdymuradov was, they told the outlet that they were unfamiliar with the case.

June 25, 2008 12:00 PM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Turkmenistan

Attacks on the Press 2007: Turkmenistan


The sudden death of President-for-Life Saparmurat Niyazov in December 2006 marked an end to an eccentric and authoritarian rule, raising modest hopes for social, economic, and political reform. Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, a deputy prime minister and Niyazov loyalist, was named interim leader and then became president in a government-orchestrated “election” in February.
February 5, 2008 10:19 AM ET


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