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Turkmenistan22 September 2006

Appeal for support for Muradova’s family now under threat from government

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Reporters Without Borders said today it was “extremely alarmed” by the threats hanging over the relatives of Radio Free Europe correspondent Ogulsapar Muradova - who died under torture in a Turkmen prison earlier this month - and the two others journalists and human rights activists imprisoned with her, Annakurban Amanklychev and Sapardurdy Khajiyev.

“This case must not be forgotten, as it would just make matters easier for the Turkmen authorities,” the press freedom organisation said. “We fear that Muradova’s children could suffer the same fate as she did, or could be deported to a location that is unknown to anyone but the police. We call on the international community to put pressure on the Turkmen government.”

According to information received by Reporters Without Borders, President Nyazov has ordered that the families of all three journalists should be transferred to an unknown location by mid-October.

Muradova’s three children are currently cut off from the outside world, as both their fixed-line and mobile telephones and those of their friends have been disconnected. Their home is under active surveillance by the security services and it is virtually impossible for them to move about. They have been fired from their jobs and have no funds.

Muradova, Amanklychev and Khajiyev were arrested between 16 and 18 June for helping a French TV production company journalist, and were sentenced at a summary trial on 25 August to prison terms ranging from 6 to 7 years on trumped-up charges of “illegal possession of ammunition.” Muradova, 58, died as a result of beatings she received while in prison




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