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Published:June 26th, 2008 08:15 EST
Journalist beaten to the point of death

Journalist beaten to the point of death

By SOP newswire

U.S.-backed broadcaster Radio-Free Europe/Radio Liberty says Turkmen security forces have tortured one of its journalists.

Radio-Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Jeffrey Gedmin In a statement, the radio service said Sazak Durdymuradov was beaten so badly he told his wife he wanted to die. He was found at a state security detention center on Tuesday.

Radio-Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Jeffrey Gedmin said the incident was made even more hideous by the fact that the Turkmen government was engaged in a European Union dialogue about human rights at the time.

London-based rights group Amnesty International said earlier this week that widespread and systemic human rights violations continue in Turkmenistan, with police and security forces acting with impunity.

Separately, New York-based Human Rights Watch Wednesday demanded the release of a dissident it says was detained Tuesday. The group says Turkmen authorities arrested Gulgeldy Annaniazov at his home in the capital, Ashgabat.

Also today, Turkmen government officials demolished a jail in the Caspian Sea port of Turkmenbashi, citing a decline in the crime rate under President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov`s rule.

International groups have named the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan as one of the worst violators of media and religious freedom.

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