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Turkmen Authorities Release RFE/RL Correspondents

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, March 17, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Two Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondents have been released by the Turkmen authorities 10 days after they were arrested, on March 7.

RFE/RL's Turkmen Service says the two were released after they agreed to sign a document saying they would no longer work for RFE/RL.

The two journalists, Meret Khommadov and Jumadurdy Ovezov, were arrested in Turkmenistan's Mary province for alleged hooliganism at a town meeting.

The Turkmen authorities told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on March 15 that the two had been sentenced to 15 days of community service.

Until that point there had been no information about their whereabouts, their arrest, or their sentence, prompting the concern of a range of international organizations.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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