Turkmenistan: Attack on Reporting Reaches Urgent Pitch
Turkmenistan’s routine harassment of reporters is taking on harsher and increasingly systematic qualities as authorities seek to clamp down on news of the country's economic crisis from trickling out.
In the latest example of such pressure, RFE/RL reported on December 6 that police in Turkmenistan arrested one of its contributors on suspicion of possessing dipping tobacco.
RFE/RL said Khudayberdy Allashov was detained at his home in the Dashoguz Province on December 3. Armed policemen also beat him and rounded up his mother and wife, the broadcaster said.
Nasvai, a popular and mildly intoxicating form of tobacco, is deemed illegal in Turkmenistan but is consumed widely all the same. RFE/RL quoted Allashov's wife as saying her husband had confessed under duress to possessing 11 kilograms of the tobacco, a charge reportedly punishable by up to seven years in jail.
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