December 20, 2006 -- Rights groups say that a Turkmen environmental activist has been detained by the authorities.
The International Helsinki Federation (IHF) and Amnesty International said today that Andrei Zatoka had been detained at the airport in the northern city of Dashoguz.
In a statement, the IHF said Zatoka's arrest was likely "an act of intimidation motivated by his civil-society engagement."
Holly Cartner, the Europe and Central Asia director for Human Rights Watch, denounced the detention as "arbitrary and politically motivated," and expressed concern that Zatoka could be tortured in detention.
The Post-Soviet Environment
The skull of a male saiga antelope in Kalmykia. Saiga numbers have collapsed disastrously over the last decade. (shpilenok.com)
THE FRAGILE PLANET: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, old environmental disasters have come to light and new ones have emerged. War, poverty, and weak central-government control have led to serious environmental problems from Eastern Europe to the Russian Far East. RFE/RL has provided extensive coverage of these important issues and of efforts to cope with them.