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Veteran Turkmen Correspondent Dies

Turkmenistan -- RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondent Halmyrat Kylchdurdiyev in Ashgabat, undated
Halmurad Klychdurdiyev, a veteran correspondent for RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, died Wednesday evening after a prolonged illness.

Klychdurdiyev, 72, free-lanced for the service, known locally as Azatlyk Radiosy, regularly filing reports and interviews from Ashgabat since 2004. Before working for the service as a correspondent, he was a frequent contributor to broadcast interviews and roundtables.

Turkmenistan does not tolerate independent media, and Klychdurdiyev worked under constant pressure and surveillence. He was told by authorities on several occasions to stop reporting for RFE/RL, and he and his family members suffered reprisals in response to his journalism.

Klychdurdiyev's reports featured cultural subjects, reflecting his devotion to his country's history and traditions. In addition to reporting for RFE/RL,he worked in various capacities for the Turkmen Drama Theater, national TV and cinema.

Turkmenistan is widely recognized as one of the most repressive countries on earth, consistently ranking among the "worst of the worst" in human rights and media freedom surveys.

Halmurad Klychdurdiev was born on December 31, 1940 in Ashgabat. He is survived by his wife and his three children.

Reported by RFE/RL's Turkmen service.