MONTREAL, July 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Radio Free Europe contributor
Sazak Durdymuradov has been released from the psychiatric hospital to which he
was confined against his will after being arrested by secret police on 20 June
"We are relieved to learn that Durdymuradov is back at home with his
family, which means the mistreatment to which he was being subjected has
ended," Reporters Without Borders said. "It is time the authorities realised
that the use of such barbaric methods is completely unacceptable and should be
abandoned at once."
A history teacher who has been contributing to RFE for several months,
Durdymuradov was able to return to his home in Baharden (200 km west of the
capital) on 4 July, two weeks after he was arrested there by members of the
MNB secret police. His return was confirmed by his family, who thanked all
those who spoke out on his behalf.
Durdymuradov was tortured. He was badly beaten and was given electric
shocks in an attempt to make him sign a pledge to stop working for RFE. He was
then taken to Boinuzin, a psychiatric hospital 700 km east of Ashgabad where
dissidents are imprisoned. Former Boinuzin inmates have called it the
"Turkmen gulag" and "hell on earth."
Durdymuradov's arrest took place as a European Union delegation and the
Turkmen government were holding talks in Ashgabad about human rights. Recent
weeks have seen an increase in government harassment of its critics and
Turkmenistan was ranked 167th out of 169 countries in the latest
Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index. President Gurbanguli
Berdymukhammedov is on the organisation's list of Press Freedom Predators and
its list of Internet Enemies.
For further information:
For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4188, Fax: (514)