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One Year Later, RFE/RL Turkmen Correspondent's Death Still Unexplained

(Prague, Czech Republic--September 14, 2007) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty this week marks the first anniversary of the unexplained death in prison of Ogulsapar Muradova, human rights activist and Turkmenistan correspondent for RFE/RL's Turkmen language broadcasts.

RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin said: "Colleagues remember Ogulsapar as a dedicated journalist, deeply caring human being and devoted mother of three children. We will continue to keep her memory alive through our broadcasting, carrying on her work of bringing the truth to Turkmen citizens." First and foremost, he said the family and friends of Ogulsapar Muradova would like to know the truth about her death.

One year later, the circumstances and facts of Muradova's death remain shrouded in mystery--the place, even the day she died is not known. No one has been charged or brought to account for the death of the 58-year old Muradova. Her family was not permitted to see her after a mock trial in August 2006 and was not told where she was imprisoned. Her daughters were taken suddenly to the Ashgabat city morgue September 14, 2006 and asked to take custody of the body, which they said had a visible head wound.

RFE/RL's Turkmen Service is remembering Muradova in special programming today focusing on her commitment to human rights and changes in Turkmen society in the year since Muradova's death. An article in English by Turkmen Service Director Oguljamal Yazliyeva can be found on RFE/RL's website.

According to Freedom House, Turkmenistan's media environment is "one of the most repressive in the world," while the Committee to Protect Journalists named it one of the "10 Most Censored Countries" in 2006.

RFE/RL's Turkmen Service broadcasts six hours of programming a day to Turkmenistan, produced in Prague and transmitted to listeners via shortwave, medium wave and satellite broadcasts. Turkmen Service programming is also available via the Internet, at; English-language news about events in Turkmenistan can be found on the RFE/RL website.