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Amnesty Concerned About Activist Detained in Turkmenistan

(RFE/RL) January 5, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The London-based rights group Amnesty International released a statement today citing concern about environmental activist Andrei Zatoka, who was detained in Turkmenistan last month.

The Amnesty statement said Zatoka was arrested in his town of Dashoguz, in northern Turkmenistan on December 17 as he prepared to board a flight to Ashgabat.

He is charged with unlawful acquisition or possession of weapons or explosives and unlawful circulation of potent or poisonous substances.

Amnesty International said National Security Ministry officers searched Zatoka's apartment and removed his computer and other equipment.

Zatoka is reportedly being held by police in northern Turkmenistan and, according to Amnesty International, is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

Saparmurat Niyazov, 1940-2006

Saparmurat Niyazov, 1940-2006

Turkment President Saparmurat Niyazov (

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RFE/RL's coverage of Turkmenistan.