Journalist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev assaulted in Turkmenistan

The news outlet ATN reports that in the morning of 19 October, 2018 journalist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev was attacked by an unidentified assailant in the city of Balkanabad (formerly, Nebit-Dag) who threw stones at him.

It is reported after Nepeskuliev's release from prison in May 2018, he has been under round-the-clock surveillance. Plainclothes individuals regularly keep vigil in front of his apartment block in one of the city districts, � the news outlet reports.

According to ATN, on Friday, Saparmamed, who was going shopping, was followed by two people in civilian clothes. The third one was on look-out in a Toyota car with the plate number AN4653BN.

After the journalist noticed he had been followed, he switched on the camera and turned abruptly to rush towards the perpetrators. One of them escaped whereas the second started throwing stones at Saparmamed but fortunately he missed.

A day prior to the incident, the journalist's sim-card was blocked and his Internet access was cut off.

Nepeskuliev is very active in social networks and expresses his viewpoint about the events in Turkmenistan. In the meantime he is preparing his Russian passport as he was recently granted Russian citizenship, � ATN reports.

Let us recall that in May 2018 a freelance journalist Saparmamed Nepeskuliev, who had contributed to Radio Liberty and Alternative Turkmenistan News, was released from imprisonment after serving 3 years in prison.

Nepeskuliev was arrested in July 2015. He was sentenced to a three year imprisonment term for possession of Tramadol � a prescription drug banned in Turkmenistan.

The arrest followed publications of critical photos and video footage about Turkmenistan made by Nepeskuliev.

International human rights organizations as well as the OSCE called on the Turkmen authorities to release the journalist.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan