Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Turkmen Journalist Threatened For Blogs About Explosions and Number of Dead

Posted by Info on 18/07/2011

A fire at an armory on a military base in the city of Abadan on July 7 is believed to have set off a series of explosions that sprayed ammunition throughout the city, causing tens of thousands of people to be evacuated as many homes and other structures were burnt down or damaged.

Eyewitnesses say that scores of people were killed and injured by the blasts, but the Turkmen government said only 15 people died.
In his blogs, Yazguliyev was highly critical of the authorities
— and the State Security Council — for their slow reaction to the deadly event.
Government officials said for nearly three days that there were no casualties and only minor damage as a result of the explosions.

Yazguliyev also wrote that there were not 15 dead, as the government claimed, but rather that hundreds of people had been killed.

Yazguliyev was treated well and in a polite manner while being questioned, but was warned that if he is summoned by security forces again because of his blogs he will be charged with “disseminating defamatory information through the media” and “causing national, social, and religious provocations.”
Yazguliyev would face prison sentences of two and five years for those charges, respectively, if tried and found guilty.


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