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RFE/RL Contributor Beaten In Turkmenistan

Sazak Durdymuradov, a history teacher and contributor to RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, has been found beaten and tortured after refusing to sign a letter in which he agreed to stop reporting for RFE/RL.

Durdymuradov's commentary and analysis often focuses on educational and constitutional reform.

He was seized three days ago by Turkmen police from his home in Bakharden. He was discovered today at a detention facility run by the national security office (former KGB). His wife said he told her he "wanted to die."

The incident, condemned by RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin, occurred as the Turkmen government is hosting human rights talks with the European Union in the capital, Ashgabat.

In a report issued on June 23, Amnesty International said Turkmen authorities regularly target independent journalists, including RFE/RL correspondents, in an attempt to silence independent voices.

Read the full RFE/RL press release here.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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