Two Europe correspondents arrested in Turkmenistan

Two correspondents for U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty have been arrested in Turkmenistan earlier this week, the radio said Friday. Yumadurdy Ovezov and Meret Khomadov, who work for the radio's Turkmen service, were detained by police on March 7 and their whereabouts were unknown, RFE/RL spokeswoman Anna Rausova said.

She said police gave no reason for the arrests. Rausova also said that the radio's Turkmen service has lost contact about 10 days ago with its entire network of correspondents, who file on an irregular basis from Turkmenistan . The RFE/RL Turkmen service is the only alternative Turkmen-language radio that can be heard in the country where all media are controlled by the state. All of the service's six-hour daily programming is being produced in Prague .

RFE/RL is a private, nonprofit corporation, which receives funding from the U.S. government. It was established in 1949 to spread pro-Western news and promote democratic values and institutions in countries behind the Iron Curtain. The station moved its headquarters to Prague from Munich , Germany , in 1995, after communism collapsed here in 1989, reports the AP.


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