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RSF Demands Release Of Turkmen Journalist, Activists


http://gdb.rferl.org/5c725903-f1ab-436c-a4e7-be1ab7af50cb_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/5c725903-f1ab-436c-a4e7-be1ab7af50cb_mw800_mh600.jpg (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, August 23, 2006 (RFE/RL) - The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) media watchdog today called upon Turkmen authorities to immediately and unconditionally release a RFE/RL journalist and two other people who have been in custody for the past two months.

RSF says in a statement that it has received information that the trial of Annakurban Amanklychev, Sapardurdy Khajiev, and Ogulsapar Muradova is imminent.

The three were detained without charges in June.

RSF says it is "appalled by the attitude of the Turkmen authorities, who are flouting the basic rules of justice and human rights with impunity."

Khajiev is a relative of Tajigul Begmedova, the chairwoman of the Bulgaria-based Turkmen Helsinki Foundation rights group. He is reportedly due to appear before a court on August 25 on charges of illegal weapon possession.

RSF says the trials of Muradova and THF activist Amanklychev could begin by the end of the month.
Human Rights In Turkmenistan
Tajigul Begmedova speaking at RFE/RL in Prague on July 21 (RFE/RL)

LIFE UNDER NIYAZOV: On July 21, RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center hosted a presentation by TAJIGUL BEGMEDOVA, chairwoman of the Bulgaria-based Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (THF). Begmedova discussed the human rights situation in Turkmenistan under President Saparmural Niyazov, focusing on the arrests in June of THF activists and RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondent Ogulsapar Muradova. Begmedova, who graduated from the Institute of Economy in Moscow in 1987, fled Turkmenistan in 2002 and lives in exile in Sofia.


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Listen to the complete presentation (36 minutes; presentation in Russian with consecutive translation into English):
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