Trial opens of RFE/RL Turkmen reporter
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||4 October 2011|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Trial opens of RFE/RL Turkmen reporter, 4 October 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e9ea783c.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
October 04, 2011
RFE/RL Turkmenistan correspondent Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev
ASHGABAT – An RFE/RL correspondent in Turkmenistan has gone on trial over allegations that he urged a relative to attempt suicide, in a case his family says is retaliation for his journalistic activities.
Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
Yazkuliyev was one of the first journalists in Turkmenistan to cover deadly explosions at a weapons depot in the town of Abadan, near Ashgabat, in July, which official media initially downplayed as a minor incident.
RFE/RL President Steve Korn called the case outrageous, saying, "Authorities made no secret of their displeasure with Yazkuliyev after his independent and unscripted reports on Abadan this summer, and these charges seem deceitful and intended to silence him for good."
Official reports were soon overshadowed by citizens' posting of images and videos from near the scene of the massive blast, eventually forcing authorities to acknowledge the incident, although reports continued to suggest they were underreporting casualties.