RFE/RL reporter in Turkmenistan released from prison.

Posted: 29 Oct 2011   Print   Send a link
RFE/RL press release, 26 Oct 2011: "Turkmen authorities have released a correspondent for RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, who had been sentenced earlier this month to a five-year prison term in a case that drew outrage from the U.S. Congress, policymakers, foreign governments, and advocacy groups. Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev was pardoned on October 26 as part of a presidential amnesty marking the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence. Under the decree, some 1,700 prisoners are expected to be freed. Yazkuliyev was charged with encouraging the suicide attempt of a relative, accusations his family claim were brought in retaliation for his reporting. Family members said that they had been forced by police to sign statements against him, and that their efforts to retract them were ignored in the trial that ensued."

RFE/RL Off Mic blog, 25 Oct 2011, Deana Kjuka: "When Marat Nurumov submitted a blog post via smart phone from a prison in central Kazakhstan in August 2010, he baffled editors at RFE/RL’s Kazakh service, Radio Azattyq. 'He sent us an email saying he would write for us, and at first we thought it was a provocation, but we contacted his relatives and confirmed his identity,' Radio Azattyq director, Yedige Magauin, explains. How does a criminal imprisoned in Kazakhstan get access to a smart phone? Magauin says that mobile phones are illegal in prison, but due to widespread corruption, inmates find loopholes to obtain certain luxuries -- including, it seems, smart phones."