Thursday, October 6, 2011

Journalist Sentenced to 5 Years in Jail in Turkmenistan

A Turkmen court sentenced a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) correspondent to five years in jail. Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev went on trial for allegedly urging a relative to attempt suicide, in a case that his family says was brought in retaliation for his journalistic activities. Yazkuliyev was one of the first journalists in Turkmenistan to cover July's deadly explosions at a weapons depot at Abadan near Ashgabat. Official media initially downplayed the explosions as a minor incident. RFE/RL President Steven Korn called the case against Yazkuliyev "an outrage," noting: "This was a bogus trial and a predatory sentence that shows that Turkmenistan authorities respect no law and no standards when it comes to their treatment of the media. RFE/RL protests the sentence vigorously and calls on others in the international community to condemn it as well."

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