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Turkmen authorities urged to free RFE/RL journalist held incommunicado

first_img #CollateralFreedom: RSF now unblocking 21 sites in 12 countries Four-year jail term for independent website’s correspondent in Turkmenistan Help by sharing this information Dear Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov,Dear Ambassador Meret Orazov,We, the undersigned, are writing on the eve of the annual bilateral consultations between the United States and Turkmenistan, to be held on October 15 in Washington, DC, to urge you to release imprisoned reporter Saparmamed Nepeskuliev. We are convinced that his arrest and continued incommunicado detention are directly linked to his work as a reporter.A freelance journalist for Alternative Turkmenistan News and the Turkmen Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Nepeskuliev went missing in Avaza on July 7, 2015. Only several weeks later, on July 28, did his family discover he was being detained in a prison in Akdash. An official there confirmed that Nepeskuliev was in custody and that he would be charged and tried for unlawfully “possessing pills with narcotic substances.” It is now believed that he has already been sentenced to three years in prison, but due to the clandestine nature of his detention, this cannot be confirmed. The authorities have not informed Nepeskuliev’s family of the status of his detention and his current, specific whereabouts, and have provided no details on his trial and sentence. Neither his family nor his lawyer have been allowed to visit or have any contact with him. To date they have been unable to obtain a copy of the judgment against him in order to file an appeal. This failure to release information pertaining to his case has been attributed to a travel ban in the region surrounding Turkmenbashi, near the prison where Nepeskuliev’s family believes he has been transferred.  Because of the abysmal prison conditions in Turkmenistan and because Nepeskuliev is being held incommunicado, we are very concerned for his health and safety.  There are grounds for concern that the Turkmen authorities are putting tremendous pressure on Nepeskuliev’s family. His mother unsuccessfully attempted to visit her son in prison. She tried a second time at the end of September, and since then we have lost all contact with her. We are now extremely worried for her safety. Should the Turkmen authorities continue to conceal information about Nepeskuliev’s fate and whereabouts, Nepeskuliev would be the victim of an enforced disappearance, which is a grave crime under international law. Turkmenistan has the highest number of enforced disappearances in Eurasia and it is ranked 178th out of 180 on Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, only above North Korea and Eritrea.The repressive actions taken against journalists in Turkmenistan have not gone unnoticed by the United States and the international community.  Follow the news on Turkmenistan RSF_en Organisation For example, the 2014 US Department of State Report on Human Rights Practices said, with regard to Turkmenistan: “(T)he most important human rights problems were arbitrary arrest; torture; and disregard for civil liberties, including restrictions on freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and movement;…. Officials in the security services and elsewhere in the government acted with impunity. There were no reported prosecutions of government officials for human rights abuses.”We hope that these issues will be discussed during the upcoming bilateral talks with the US administration.Nepeskuliev’s incommunicado detention, imprisonment on trumped up charges, and the authorities’ efforts to keep his family from contacting him and appealing his alleged conviction are serious violations of his rights and of Turkmenistan’s commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We urge you to immediately release him. We thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this urgent matter.Sincerely,- Daniel Calingaert, DPhil, Executive Vice President, Freedom House- Ivar Dale, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Helsinki Committee- Rachel Denber, Deputy Director, Europe and Central Asia Division, Human Rights Watch- Matthew Fischer-Daly, Coordinator, Cotton Campaign- Delphine Halgand, US Director, Reporters Without Borders- Art Kaufman, Senior Director, World Movement for Democracy- Ruslan Myatiev, Editor, Alternative Turkmenistan News- Nenad Pejic, Editor in Chief, RFE/RL(Photo: ATN) Receive email alerts to go further March 13, 2020 Find out more October 14, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Turkmen authorities urged to free RFE/RL journalist held incommunicadocenter_img News News News TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia News Coronavirus off limits in Turkmenistan March 31, 2020 Find out more TurkmenistanEurope – Central Asia December 18, 2020 Find out more On the eve of bilateral talks between the State Department and Turkmenistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov, eight media and human rights organizations have written to the Foreign Minister to call for the immediate release of journalist Sapermamed Nepeskuliev, detained incommunicado for the past three months. last_img read more

Kansas State, TCU meet in Big 12 tourney

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNo. 10 seed Kansas State (10-21, 3-15) vs. No. 7 seed TCU (16-15, 7-11)Big 12 Conference Tourney First Round, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri; Wednesday, 8 p.m. EDTBOTTOM LINE: Kansas State and TCU are set to do battle in the first round of the Big 12 tourney. TCU won both of the regular season matchups earlier this season. The teams last met on Feb. 15, when Kansas State made just two 3-pointers on 12 attempts while the Horned Frogs hit 15 of 33 from deep en route to a 68-57 victory. ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com Associated Press Kansas State, TCU meet in Big 12 tourneycenter_img SAVVY VETERANS: Both of these teams have relied heavily on their seniors this year. Desmond Bane, Jaire Grayer and Edric Dennis Jr. have collectively scored 47 percent of TCU’s points this season and 58 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Kansas State, Xavier Sneed, Cartier Diarra and Makol Mawien have scored 54 percent of the team’s points this season, including 69 percent of all Wildcats points over their last five.OFFENSIVE THREAT: Bane has either made or assisted on 57 percent of all TCU field goals over the last five games. Bane has accounted for 38 field goals and 29 assists in those games.SLIPPING AT 69: Kansas State is 0-11 when it allows at least 69 points and 10-10 when it holds opponents to less than 69.ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Horned Frogs have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Wildcats. TCU has 47 assists on 73 field goals (64.4 percent) over its past three outings while Kansas State has assists on 34 of 69 field goals (49.3 percent) during its past three games.DID YOU KNOW: The Kansas State defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 24.6 percent of all possessions, which ranks the Wildcats 10th among Division I teams. TCU has turned the ball over on 21.6 percent of its possessions (ranking the Horned Frogs 323rd, nationally). March 10, 2020last_img read more