Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the brother of an exiled Turkmen dissident journalist died on September 4, four days after he was kidnapped and beaten by unknown assailants in Turkmenistan.
In an October 17 statement, the U.S.-based rights group urged Turkmenistan's government to investigate the death of Altymurad Annamuradov.
At the time of Annamuradov's death, his brother Chary Annamuradov was being held by authorities in Belarus under an extradition request from Turkmenistan that was filed in 2000 for what Human Rights Watch has described as "politically motivated" criminal fraud charges.
On September 14, Belarusian authorities released the 58-year-old Chary Annamuradov and allowed him to return to Sweden, where he had been granted political asylum in 2003.
Human Rights Watch said it only recently became aware of Alymurad Annamuradov's death.
It said his kidnapping and death "smacks of targeted retaliation against a political dissident."
Three of Chary Annamuradov's other brothers died under suspicious circumstances within a year after he fled Turkmenistan in 1999.
The 52-year-old Altymurad Annamuradov -- a father of five -- was the dissident journalist's last living brother.