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Detained RFE/RL Turkmen Journalist Denied Access To Family, Lawyer

Saparmamed Nepeskuliev
Saparmamed Nepeskuliev

The mother of a detained RFE/RL correspondent in Turkmenistan says she has not been able to see her son since his arrest in July.

Raysina Nepeskulieva told RFE/RL on August 24 that authorities at the detention center have refused to accept food she brings to her son, Saparmamed Nepeskuliev, adding that his requests to have a lawyer have also been rejected.

Nepeskuliev, 35, a correspondent for RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, went missing in July while visiting the Caspian coastal resort area of Avaza.

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

Authorities at the detention center told Nepeskuliev's relatives that he was being held for possessing "narcotic" pills.

Nepeskuliev's colleagues and mother dismiss the charges, arguing he has never had any drug-related problems.

International rights organizations and the OSCE have called on Turkmen authorities to free Nepeskuliev or at least allow him access to a lawyer of his choice.

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

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