30 November 2000


Journalist imprisoned

Incident details

Nikolai Nikolaevich Gherasimov


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(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, RSF protested the arrest and imprisonment of journalist Nikolai Nikolaevich Gherasimov. RSF asked to be kept informed of the reasons behind the journalist's incarceration. "We emphatically protest Gherasimov's incarceration, and remind you that the sentencing of a journalist to a prison term runs counter to every democratic principle," stated Robert Ménard, the organisation's secretary-general.

According to information collected by RSF, Gherasimov was arrested on 7 November 2000 and imprisoned in the city of Krasnovodsk. The journalist is the correspondent for the Azerbaijan Azerpress news agency and has worked for the newspapers "Akhal Durmushi" (Akhal's Life) and "Neytralniy Turkmenistan" (Neutral Turkmenistan), as well as the recently closed labour newspaper "Khalk Sesi" (The Voice of the People). Gherasimov was allegedly sentenced to a five-year prison term for "fraud" after a speedy trial. The details of the charges against him are unknown.

RSF recalls that there is no press freedom in Turkmenistan. Communications with the country are very difficult to establish, as they are controlled by a self-proclaimed president. E-mail and fax communications are controlled by the authorities.


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