Turkmenistan: Reporter jailed for his 'independence'

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The Independent Online

A radio journalist jailed for five years in Turkmenistan was being punished for his independent reporting, campaigners say.

Dovletmurad Yazguliyev, a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was sentenced on Wednesday for inciting a relative's suicide attempt, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Oguljamal Yazliyeva, RFE/RL's Turkmen director, said authorities had pressured Mr Yazguliyev's relatives to sign a statement saying he had tried to get his sister-in-law to commit suicide.

Mr Yazguliyev was among the first to break the news of deadly explosions at an arms storage facility in the town of Abadan in July. He was summoned by police and warned of "consequences" if he did not stop reporting the story.

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