Ogulsapar Muradova

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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


Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

RFE/RL journalist tortured, forced into a psychiatric hospital


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


Attacks on the Press   |   Turkmenistan

Attacks on the Press 2007: Turkmenistan


The sudden death of President-for-Life Saparmurat Niyazov in December 2006 marked an end to an eccentric and authoritarian rule, raising modest hopes for social, economic, and political reform. Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, a deputy prime minister and Niyazov loyalist, was named interim leader and then became president in a government-orchestrated “election” in February.
February 5, 2008 10:19 AM ET


Letters   |   Bulgaria, Turkmenistan

CPJ urges Rice to seek probe in Turkmen journalist's death

Dear Secretary Rice: In advance of your meeting in New York with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov during the 62nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Committee to Protect Journalists draws your attention to the unexplained death of an independent journalist in Turkmenistan.

September 21, 2007 12:00 PM ET


Egypt, Mexico, Morocco, Qatar, Russia, Turkmenistan, USA, Venezuela

CPJ Update

April 2007

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists

Alerts   |   Turkmenistan

CPJ condemns restrictions on journalists covering Sunday’s presidential vote in Turkmenistan

New York, February 9, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns restrictions on the foreign and domestic journalists covering the Turkmen presidential election on February 11.

While voters will cast their ballots for a president for the first time since 1992 on Sunday, CPJ said the outcome is all but assured. The six presidential contenders, including acting Head of State Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov, are from the only permitted political party. No opposition candidates will be allowed to run, and no international observers will be allowed to monitor the vote.
February 9, 2007 12:00 PM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Russia, Turkmenistan

Attacks on the Press in 2006: Preface

By Anderson Cooper

Silence. When a journalist is killed, more often than not, there is silence. In Russia, someone followed Anna Politkovskaya home and quietly shot her to death in her apartment building. The killer muffled the sound of the gun with a silencer. Her murder made headlines around the world in October, but from the Kremlin there was nothing. No statement. No condolences. Silence.

Attacks on the Press   |   Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine

Attacks on the Press 2006: Europe and Central Asia Analysis

Getting away with murder in the former Soviet states
By Nina Ognianova

The assassin in a baseball cap who gunned down Anna Politkovskaya outside her Moscow apartment used a silencer. But reverberations from the contract-style slaying of Russia's icon of investigative journalism were felt around the world.


Attacks on the Press 2006: Turkmenistan


The December 21 death of Saparmurat Niyazov, the self-proclaimed president-for-life, ended a two-decade rule that plunged Turkmenistan into a dark abyss in which the state maintained absolute control over information. His sudden death from heart failure at age 66 left the nation with an indelible legacy of repression. Niyazov's eccentric personality probably won't be matched by his successor, but his press policies seem likely to survive. The national assembly named Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov, a Niyazov loyalist, as acting head of state and scheduled elections for early 2007. Berdymuhammedov vowed to follow in the late president's path.
February 5, 2007 11:04 AM ET


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