The Niyazov family masoleum, where Niyazov was interred in September. (AFP)
March 13, 2007 -- Turkmenistan's new president has ordered his predecessor's name removed from the presidential banner.
State television reported that Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov issued a decree ordering the replacement of the name of the late Saparmurat Niyazov with the words "Turkmen president" on the banner.
Berdymukhamedov was elected last month.
Niyazov died in December after two decades of iron-fisted rule that made the country one of the world's most isolated and repressive.
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.
Listen to the complete presentation (36 minutes; presentation in Russian with consecutive translation into English): Real AudioWindows Media
Some RFE/RL Coverage Of Human Rights In Turkmenistan: