Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
September 2006, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Authorities in the capital, Ashgabat, handed over the body only after Western diplomats accompanied Muradova's children to the morgue, RFE/RL Turkmen Service Director Aleksandr Narodetsky told CPJ. Authorities refused the family's request for an autopsy and did not disclose the cause or date of death. Security forces later surrounded the Muradova home and prevented people from seeing the body or contacting Muradova's relatives.
Muradova, 58, had been convicted of possessing ammunition and sentenced to six years in jail after a closed-door trial that lasted only minutes. She had been denied legal counsel.
The Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation, a human rights organization operating from Bulgaria, released a statement saying that Muradova's body showed a large head wound and bruises around the neck. The foundation, which also said Muradova had been drugged and tortured in jail, had spoken with her adult children before the telephone connection was abruptly cut. RFE/RL's Narodetsky also said that the children reported that their mother had a head wound.
U.S. government funded RFE/RL is the last foreign broadcaster to maintain a network of correspondents in the secretive Central Asian state.
Job: Broadcast Reporter
Beats Covered: Human Rights
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials
Taken Captive: Yes
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