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Longest-Serving Turkmen Political Prisoner Released

Muhammetguly Aymuradov (file photo)

Muhammetguly Aymuradov (file photo)

Muhammetguly Aymuradov, the longest-serving political prisoner in Turkmenistan, has been released after serving more than 14 years in jail, Human Rights Watch says.

Aymuradov, 63, was released on May 2 from the Ovadan-Depe prison in the Karakum Desert, where all political prisoners are held.

He is reportedly in poor health with serious kidney ailments.

Aymuradov was arrested in Uzbekistan and extradited to Turkmenistan in 1994.

He was charged with antistate crimes and accused of trying to overthrow the Turkmen government.

Human rights activist Akmuhammet Welsapar told RFE/RL's Turkmen Service that Turkmen officials should be pressured to let him come to Moscow, where his family resides and where he could get needed medical treatment.

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