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Turkmenistan Says RFE/RL Working Without Accreditation

Turkmen Deputy Foreign Minister Vepa Khajiev
Turkmen Deputy Foreign Minister Vepa Khajiev
The Turkmen government has accused correspondents of RFE/RL's Turkmen Service of working in the country without proper accreditation.

Speaking to a UN meeting on March 16, Turkmen Deputy Foreign Minister Vepa Hadjiyev said, "If they think their actions are journalistic work, then these types of activities are not in accordance with the current law."

The Turkmen official was addressing the UN Human Rights Committee on the final day of a two-day session in New York.

The committee peppered the Turkmen delegation with questions about recent reports of human rights violations, some reported by RFE/RL.

One committee member noted that this was the first year Turkmenistan had reported on its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights since Ashgabat acceded to the covenant in 1997.

Ashgabat's first compliance report was supposed to have been submitted in 1998.

With contribution from RFE/RL UN correspondent Courtney Brooks

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

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