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Concerns Raised Over Fate Of RFE/RL Correspondent In Turkmenistan

Saparmamed Nepeskuliev
Saparmamed Nepeskuliev

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has raised concerns over the fate of a correspondent of RFE/RL's Turkmen Service.

The Paris-based organization said on September 8 that Saparmamed Nepeskuliev had been held incommunicado for the past two months, and called on Turkmen authorities "to provide full details about his current status and his possible conviction, and to free him without delay."

Nepeskuliev's relatives told RFE/RL they had learned on September 4 that he was sentenced to three years in prison on August 31.

Turkmen authorities have not officially confirmed the sentence.

Nepeskuliev, 35, disappeared in July while visiting the Caspian coastal resort area of Avaza.

His relatives later tracked him down at a detention center in a settlement near Avaza.

Authorities at the facility said he was being held for possessing "narcotic" pills.

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