Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Saparmamed Nepeskuliev

Turkmenistan--RFE/RL Freelance Correspondent Saparmamed Nepeskuliev. Youtube screengrab.

U.S. Congressmen Urge Turkmenistan To Release Nepeskuliev

Seven U.S. Congressmen have sent a letter to Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, calling for the release of RFE/RL Turkmen Service contributor Saparmamed Nepeskuliev. More

Shutterstock - Hands of the prisoner on a steel lattice close up, jail, prisoner, prison, crime, arrest, criminal

RFE/RL Calls For Turkmen Journalist’s Release

Marking one year since the detention of RFE/RL contributor Saparmamed Nepeskuliev, RFE/RL joins a chorus of international organizations calling for his freedom. More

Media, Human Rights Groups Call On Turkmenistan To Free Nepeskuliev

Thirteen media and human rights organizations have sent a letter to Turkmenistan President Berdimuhamedow, calling for the immediate release of jailed RFE/RL freelancer Saparmamed Nepeskuliev. More

Capture of WGAD document-ruling on Saparmamed Nepeskuliev

UN Working Group Finds Journalist's Detention Arbitrary

A UN body has found that Turkmenistan violated numerous international norms in the case of the independent journalist and that his detention is arbitrary. More

Map - Turkmenistan

Mother of Jailed Turkmen Journalist Deplores Official Silence

In a telephone conversation with RFE/RL's Turkmen service, the mother of imprisoned journalist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev deplored the lack of information about her son's case. More

Crackdown In Crimea

WATCH: The chief of RFE/RL's Krym.Realii or Crimea Realities, says Russian authorities have unblocked access to the news website.    On May 12, the de facto prosecutor of Crimea, Natalia Poklonskaya, announced that Russia's media regulator, Roskomnadzor, had decided to shut down the site.    The website's chief, Volodymyr Prytula, said in Kyiv on May 13 that no content was removed before the ban was lifted. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)

Video RFE/RL Crimea Website Unblocked

RFE/RL's Crimean news desk, Krym.Realii, has welcomed Moscow's decision to unblock its news website in Russia and Moscow-annexed Crimea. More

Crimean-based journalist Mykola Semena

Crimea Reporter Faces Separatism Rap

Officials in Russia-annexed Crimea have charged Mykola Semena, a contributor to a news site about Crimea run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), with calling for separatism. More

Crimean-based journalist Mykola Semena (file photo)

Threat To Close RFE/RL Crimea Site Sparks International Condemnation

The latest clampdown on a Crimea news site run by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has drawn international condemnation, with the United States denouncing it as "the Russian government's growing crackdown on independent voices" on the annexed peninsula. More

Crimea's Prosecutor-General Natalya Poklonskaya has called for the closure of RFE/RL's Crimea website.

Journalist In Crimea Investigated By Russia-Backed Authorities

The office for Crimea's de facto prosecutor-general has said that journalist Mykola Semena has been ordered not to leave the peninsula while he is being investigated by the Russia-backed authorities. More

Anonymous in Crimea

A Crimean Tatar journalist and contributor to RFE/RL Ukrainian Service’s Crimea.Realities project to bring independent news and information to people in Crimea discusses what the last two years under Russian occupation have been like. More

Khadija Ismayilova

WATCH: RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova says she will keep fighting to clear her name and to support the work of her colleagues in Azerbaijan.

Video Freed RFE/RL Journalist Ismayilova Vows To Continue Investigations, Shrugs Off Threats

Investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova says the Azerbaijani government decided to release her from prison because her detention had become an embarrassment and had failed to frighten other reporters from pursuing stories about high-level corruption. More

RFE/RL Journalist Khadija Ismayilova, moments after her release from prison. Baku, Azerbaijan, May 25, 2016

Ismayilova Freed From Prison But Intent On Justice

Elated but defiant, RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova walked out of prison in Baku today -- and vowed to take the Azerbaijani government to court to hold it accountable for concocting a case against her on political grounds. More

Khadija Ismayilova: "I am not a toy to be exchanged for diplomatic gain by Baku or Washington."

Embattled Baku Weighs Benefits, Risks Of Setting Ismayilova Free

If you believe in good omens, a rare season of amnesty augurs well for RFE/RL investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova's appeal this week for prison release. But it's far from certain that President Ilham Aliyev will be swayed by either condemnation or largesse in her particular case. More

RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova, Baku, 16 Feb 2012.

UNESCO Lauds Ismayilova Amid Mounting Pressure For Journalist's Freedom

On World Press Freedom Day, imprisoned Azerbaijani investigative reporter and RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova was named the 2016 recipient of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. More

WATCH: Azerbaijani Journalist Ismayilova Sentenced To 7 1/2 Years

Video Baku Court Jails Journalist Ismayilova For 7 1/2 Years, Sentence Condemned

A Baku court has sentenced investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 7 1/2 years in prison on charges considered by many to be retribution for her reports on corruption involving senior officials. More


Prominent critical voices currently imprisoned include Ilqar Mammadov, the leader of the Republican Alternative (REAL) movement who remains in jail despite a ruling by the European Court for Human Rights that his arrest was politically motivated.

Azerbaijan's Other Political Prisoners

The release of RFE/RL journalist Khadija Ismayilova from an Azerbaijani prison has highlighted the plight of numerous other activists and journalists widely considered political prisoners who remain behind bars in the oil-rich former Soviet republic. More


The Taliban said that Afghanistan's private networks were "propaganda networks."

Taliban Target Afghan TV Networks

The Taliban has declared two of Afghanistan's major television networks and their employees legitimate targets due to their alleged "disrespectful and hostile actions" against the militant group. More


In a new propaganda video an IS militant speaks in unaccented Kyrgyz with a subtitled translation of his words in Russian.

IS's First-Ever Kyrgyz Recruitment Video

​For the first time, the militant group Islamic State (IS) has released a propaganda and recruitment video specifically addressing Muslims in Kyrgyzstan. More


WATCH: Armenian Protesters Confront Police

Video Armenian Police Target Journalists In Violent Crackdown

Police attempted to end a days-long street protest in the Armenia by forcibly dispersing participants and journalists. But the heavy-handed approach, which included the direct involvement of a top national police commander, has sparked a furious response at home and abroad. More


Video RFE/RL Video Deleted At Tajik Trial

Russian officers in the 109th garrison court in Dushanbe confiscated and partly deleted video material from a high-profile trial covered by RFE/RL's Tajik Service. More

Bad News: Tajikistan Tells Officials To Speak First To State Media

Dushanbe's new directive to officials to speak first to the state news agency could dramatically reduce independent journalists' access to information. More

The Bulletin: Updates On Journalists In Trouble

Pakistan -- Pakistani journalists rally to protest an attack on their colleague in April, 2014.

The latest reporting on incidents targeting RFE/RL journalists and our non-RFE/RL colleagues

The latest reporting on incidents targeting RFE/RL journalists and our non-RFE/RL colleagues in an effort to raise awareness about their situation, mobilize support on their behalf, and document the high price of reporting in places where the media is unfree. More

Kazakhstan -- Police arrest a demonstrator in Almaty May 21.
Kazakhstan -- Police arrest a demonstrator in Almaty May 21.

Dozens of journalists, including many from RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, were detained on May 21 while covering nationwide protests against a proposed land privatization law. Some journalists said their video recordings and photos were erased while they were in custody.

Kazakh Information and Communications Minister Dauren Abaev said on May 21 that he would "work to find out why [the journalists] were detained."

The websites of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service are blocked, but access to the service’s Facebook and YouTube sites was restored later on May 21 after offering only intermittent service since May 20.

The government crackdown comes as opposition activists called for rallies to be held across the country to protest proposed changes to laws that would allow farmland to be sold and would allow foreign investors to lease parcels of land for agricultural use for up to 25 years.


RFE/RL Kazakh Service Correspondent Saniya Toiken was detained by police April 29 while on her way to cover protests in the southwestern city of Zhanaozen. She was told she was being held as a witness to a traffic accident, but wasn’t given further information. She was released from custody May 1 when the demonstrations had finished and wasn’t questioned further about the alleged traffic accident.  A recently announced land privatization plan has sparked protests in several cities since late April. 

Vox Pop Vexation

RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service correspondent in Moscow, Umid Bobomatov, received several death threats by phone from April 15-16 after he reported on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show. Bobomatov produced a video vox pop from Red Square asking Uzbek migrants what they would ask their own president if given a similar opportunity. Most were hesitant to answer on camera. When Bobomatov silenced his phone to avoid the threatening calls, he started receiving alarming text messages, one of which warned him, “watch your back,” and stated that someone had already been “sent after” him. 

"Current Time" Correspondents Targeted

Two freelance contributors to the Russian language TV news program "Current Time" were stopped by law enforcement officers in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk last week after reporting on a recently opened Putin-themed restaurant called President Café. One of the contributors was stopped again later by uniformed officers as he entered his apartment building. The officers checked his documents and suggested he “be more careful” in his line of work.

In a separate incident, a Current Time correspondent in Yekaterinburg, Russia was approached by what appeared to be security forces, though they refused to say which agency they represented. They told the correspondent they know who she works for.


The office for Crimea's de facto prosecutor-general said April 19 that journalist Mykola Semena has been ordered not to leave the peninsula while he is being investigated by the Russia-backed authorities. Semena, who is an outside contributor to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, is being investigated for alleged "calls for undermining the Russian territorial integrity via mass media."

Meanwhile, police conducted forced searches at the homes of seven journalists across Crimea, one of whom now faces up to five years in prison on criminal charges related to his work. International rights watchdogs and press freedom advocates have condemned the charges and searches. 


Tajikistan -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon will be able to be reelected indefinitely if he is successful in an upcoming referendum. Journalists and media watchdogs say pressure on independent journalists has intensified in the run-up to the May 22 vote. April 22, 2016.

Trending In Tajikistan: Media Repression

Ahead of referendum, a growing wave of pressure tactics threatens the country’s independent press. More

Freedom Of The Press Reports

Turkish police use a tear-inducing agent against demonstrators during a protest over the arrest of two reporters in Ankara late last year. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was singled out in the Freedom House report for his crackdown on journalists.

World Press Freedom At Lowest In More Than A Decade, Watchdog Says

A U.S.-based rights watchdog says press freedom in the world declined in 2015 to its lowest level in 12 years, under increased pressure from a combination of political, criminal, and terrorist elements. More

Mapping Journalists In Trouble


An interactive map of incidents affecting RFE/RL journalists with key press freedom rankings. 


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About This Page

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) mission is to promote democratic values and institutions by reporting the news in countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally:  accurate news, responsible discussion, and open debate.


Of the 21 countries in which RFE/RL broadcasts, none has received a “free” press designation in Freedom House's annual survey of media freedom.  Seven have been labeled “partly free,” and the remaining 14 are unequivocally “not free.”


Because of the work they do, RFE/RL journalists, contributors, and bureau staff members risk intimidation, physical harm, and imprisonment. The Journalists in Trouble page reports on incidents targeting RFE/RL reporters and our non-RFE/RL colleagues in an effort to raise awareness about their situation, mobilize support on their behalf, and document the high price of reporting in places where the media is unfree.