Accessibility links

Breaking News


The Border Guard Committee of Belarus said on August 5 that it has detained a Turkmenistan-born Swedish man and is preparing to extradite the former journalist back to Turkmenistan.

Committee member Alyaksandr Tishchenko told the Associated Press that Chary Annamuradov was detained in July as he flew into Belarus because his name was on a wanted list shared by several former Soviet republics.

Annamuradov, a former journalist who investigated drug trafficking between Europe and Afghanistan through Turkmenistan and Russia, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in Turkmenistan in 1991 on charges of drug possession.

Rights groups have said the charges against him were politically motivated.

Annamuradov was released from prison after serving several years of his sentence and fled Turkmenistan.

He lived briefly in Prague, where he worked for the Turkmen Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Annamuradov then moved to Sweden, where he was granted political asylum in 2002.

He also reportedly worked as a correspondent for Deutsche Welle under a pseudonym.

In 2015, Freedom House listed Turkmenistan among the worst offenders of jailing journalists and tightening media controls.

Based on reporting by AP, Washington Post, Fox News, and Chronicles Of Turkmenistan

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has described the hanging of up to 20 people in Iran this week as "a grave injustice."

In an August 5 statement, Hussein said the executions followed "the application of overly broad and vague criminal charges, coupled with a disdain for the rights of the accused to due process and a fair trial."

Reports suggested most -- if not all -- those executed this week were Sunni Muslims from the Kurdish community.

Official said the men came from Kurdish areas and belonged to the extremist Tawhid and Jihad group.

Iran, which is predominantly Shi'ite, executed at least 977 people last year, according to Amnesty International.

The organization said Iran was the second-most-prolific executioner in the world last year, after China.

Load more

About This Blog

"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.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More