Blog   |   Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan opens up media--in name only

President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, relinquished ownership of Turkmenistan's newspapers, but journalists are still appointed by his decree. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)

Turkmenistan is trying to burnish its image by passing its first law on press freedom. On January 4th, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov signed a law that bans press censorship, bars the government from monopolizing news outlets, and grants the public access to all forms of information, including independent and foreign reporting.

Unfortunately, reform appears to be only posturing and the most repressive and hermetic country in Eurasia remains just that. 

February 28, 2013 11:02 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

Reporter gets five years in Turkmenistan

New York, October 5, 2011 -- The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the sentencing today of Dovletmurad Yazguliyev, a local correspondent for the Turkmen service of the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), to five years in prison on charges of inciting a relative's suicide attempt.

Blog   |   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Internet, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Fighting bogus piracy raids, Microsoft issues new licenses

CPJ has documented for several years the use of spurious anti-piracy raids to shut down and intimidate media organizations in Russia and the former Soviet republics. Offices have been shut down, and computers seized. Often, security agents make bogus claims to be representing or acting on behalf of the U.S. software company Microsoft.

December 7, 2010 3:10 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkmenistan

The 'cruel censorship' of Turkmenistan

Even though Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov announced two years ago the necessity of universal Internet access, the Web is more than restricted in the country. This is connected to cruel official censorship, the serious limitation of the availability and speed of Internet connections in cities, and its total absence in villages. I haven't even mentioned the high price of going online, the strict state monitoring of the few public Internet cafes in the cities, and the widespread practice of opening and inspecting instant messages and e-mails.

April 30, 2009 10:00 AM ET

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Reports   |   Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Vietnam

10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger

CPJ names the worst online oppressors. Booming online cultures in many Asian and Middle Eastern nations have led to aggressive government repression. Burma leads the dishonor roll.

Reports   |   Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Multimedia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Vietnam

Audio Report: Worst Countries to be a Blogger




In our special report, “10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger,” CPJ names the world’s leading online oppressors. Here, Deputy Director Robert Mahoney explains why CPJ undertook this report and how it arrived at its conclusions. Listen to the mp3 on the player above, or right click here to download. (5:34)  
April 30, 2009 12:01 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Turkmenistan

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Turkmenistan

In the second year of his presidency, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov relaxed some cultural restrictions but took no significant steps to improve press conditions. The strange and repressive legacy of his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in late 2006, continued to dominate this gas-rich Central Asian nation. Despite Berdymukhammedov's promises to open his long-isolated country to the world, access to critical news Web sites was blocked by the dominant, state-owned Internet service provider, and authorities dismantled residential satellite dishes in the capital, Ashgabat, on presidential orders. The government waged an aggressive campaign of harassment against journalists working for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, even as it continued to stonewall questions about the 2006 death of an RFE/RL correspondent in state custody.

February 10, 2009 12:08 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

RFE/RL unable to reach reporter

TURKMENISTAN:

New York, July 11, 2008—A contributing reporter for the Turkmen Service of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) who was forcibly held for two weeks in two different psychiatric facilities has now had his phone disabled, according to RFE/RL.

Bowing to international pressure, authorities freed Sazak Durdymuradov on July 3. A security officer warned him to “go and tell the truth” about his treatment in detention, and not to “slander” in his broadcasts, he said. Reports of Durdymuradov’s unlawful detention and alleged torture had outraged the international community, which called for his immediate release. CPJ attempted to interview Durdymuradov today, but was unable to get through to him.

July 11, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

RFE/RL journalist tortured, forced into a psychiatric hospital

TURKMENISTAN:

New York, June 26, 2008—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the abduction, torture, and forcible psychiatric hospitalization of Sazak Durdymuradov, a contributing reporter for the Turkmen Service of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), in the Western city of Bakhaden.

According to RFE/RL, Durdymuradov was seized by agents of the secret police (MNB) from his Bakhaden home on June 20 and forcibly taken to a local psychiatric clinic, then shuttled to an MNB station where he was severely beaten, tortured with electroshock, and pressured to sign a letter that said he agreed to stop reporting for RFE/RL. Colleagues say they believe that Durdymuradov was then transferred to a psychiatric hospital in the eastern Lebap region, notorious for “admitting” critics of the Turkmen regime, RFE/RL Turkmen Service Director Oguljamal Yazliyeva told CPJ. However, Durdymuradov’s whereabouts have yet to be confirmed. When RFE/RL contacted MNB authorities to find out where Durdymuradov was, they told the outlet that they were unfamiliar with the case.

June 25, 2008 12:00 PM ET

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