The Committee to Protect Journalists called on the Turkmen authorities to release Nurgeldy Khalykov

The international non-governmental organization Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement on the case of Turkmen journalist Nurgeldy Khalykov , demanding that the Turkmen authorities immediately release him.

A correspondent for the independent news website Turkmen news was detained in July 2020 after the country's authorities found out that he had forwarded a photograph of members of a WHO delegation relaxing by the pool of a hotel in Ashgabat to the editors of the publication. In September of that year, he was sentenced to four years on trumped-up charges of fraud.

According to Turkmen news editor-in-chief Ruslan Myatiev , Khalykov has already been put in solitary confinement three times after publications about him on the newspaper's website. Those held in the isolation ward are prohibited from leaving the cell and communicating with other prisoners. They are also denied access to the library and other entertainment.

“Turkmenistan authorities must stop placing Halykov in isolation, as well as drop the trumped-up charges against him and release him without delay,” said Gulnoza Said , program coordinator of the Committee for Europe and Central Asia , adding that additional punishments for a man serving a term on an unfounded sentence are the height of injustice.

Myatiev hopes that there may be changes in the Khalykov case due to a change in the country's leadership. The Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan did not respond to calls from representatives of the Committee.

A year ago, the organization also called on the leadership of Turkmenistan to release the journalist and ensure unhindered work for the press.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan