The Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has expressed concern over the harassment of two RFE/RL correspondents in Turkmenistan. Dovletmurat Yazguliev
and Osman Hallyev
have been subjected to threats and intimidation by local intelligence officers in the last two weeks.
“Similar situations in the past have ended tragically, so we urge President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to intervene at once,” Reporters Without Borders said. “If this has been done at the initiative of local officials, they must be brought to order. If not, we reiterate our appeal to the president to order the Turkmen security apparatus to stop treating journalists as enemies and criminals.”
As RSF notes, another RFE/RL correspondent in Turkmenistan, Sazak Durdymuradov
, was arrested by intelligence officers in June and was tortured while held for two weeks.
Turkmenistan ranks 171st out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.