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Turkmen Court Sentences RFE/RL Reporter To Five Years In Jail

Dovletmyrat YazkuliyevDovletmyrat Yazkuliyev
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Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev
Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev
ASHGABAT -- A Turkmen court has sentenced an RFE/RL correspondent to five years in jail after convicting him of encouraging a relative's suicide attempt, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev went on trial on October 4 for allegedly urging a relative to attempt suicide, in a case his family says is retaliation for his journalistic activities.

The Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it was "dismayed and shocked" by the sentence against Yazkuliyev.

RSF said in a statement that "the reign of the arbitrary continues unchecked in Turkmenistan."

He was one of the first journalists in Turkmenistan to cover deadly explosions at a weapons depot at Abadan near Ashgabat in July, which official media initially downplayed as a minor incident.

RSF called the charges against him "absurd" and said Yazkuliyev was being punished for his outspoken investigative reporting and his online blogs.

RFE/RL President Steven Korn called the case against Yazkuliyev "an outrage," noting: "This was a bogus trial and a predatory sentence that shows that Turkmenistan authorities respect no law and no standards when it comes to their treatment of the media. RFE/RL protests the sentence vigorously and calls on others in the international community to condemn it as well."
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by: PragueGuy from: Prague
October 05, 2011 15:22
Mr. Yazkuliyev, you are in our prayers. Us consumers of the news often forget how heroic journalists are who work in these screwed up countries and how much they risk ever day. I feel for all of the decent folks who have to live in all of the "stans."

by: Esen from: Europe
October 05, 2011 20:11
I can't (or may be I can) understand why Western governments keep silience when the human rights is about Turkmenistan. Poor journalist. Game is over and Berdymukhammedov is a tyrant. I send my regards especially to the United Nations and OSCE who always like to welcome dictators "endless promises". He is a lier, nothing more than that and he has been good at it for four years.

by: Audrey from: USA
October 06, 2011 17:21
Sorry to sound like a utopian, and I realize that the efficacy of these things is questionable, but are there any petitions, etc, going that can be forwarded to the UN or other bodies?

My thoughts are with him and his family.

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