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Turkmenistan: Radio Free Europe Intern Arrested

Prague, 3 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Turkmen independent journalist Youshan Annakurbanov, who was due to arrive in Prague for RFE/RL's intern program Sunday, has been arrested and prevented from departure for Moscow at Ashgabat airport.

His wife reported today to the RFE/RL Turkmen service by telephone that Turkmen police on Thursday detained Annakurbanov. She said they also searched through his house and confiscated his computer and fax machine.

His wife says that when the airport police searched his luggage they could not find anything illegal. But she says the police later claimed that he was carrying a computer diskette belonging to the opposition. Annakurbanov denies this claim.

In recent months, Annakurbanov contributed literary items to RFE/RL's Turkmen broadcasts.