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Turkmenistan: Journalist’s Death In Prison

Turkmenistan: UN Rights Office Urges Independent Probe Of Journalist’s Death In Prison

New York, Sep 15 2006 2:00PM

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today expressed serious concern about the recent death of a journalist in a Turkmenistan prison and urged the country’s authorities to launch a full and independent investigation into what happened.

At a press briefing in Geneva, OHCHR spokesman José Luis Díaz said the agency was “very disturbed” about the death of Ogulsapa Muradova, the correspondent for Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe in Ashgabat, the country’s capital.

Ms. Muradova was arrested in June, tried before being sentenced at the end of August to six years in prison in connection with illegal weapons after a trial that was largely reported to be unfair, Mr. Díaz said.

He also expressed concern about the fate of two other people who were convicted on the same charges at the same time and remain in custody.

Mr. Díaz urged the Turkmen authorities to conduct a thorough, prompt and independent investigation into the cause of Ms. Muradova’s death, including an independent medical examination of the body, and to make the findings public.

Ends

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