BRUSSELS, 15 September 2006 - The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, today expressed deep concern about the death in custody of Radio Free Europe reporter and human rights activist Ogulsapar Muradova. Her relatives were informed of her death on Thursday.
"I urge Turkmenistan’s authorities to immediately begin a full and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death," Minister De Gucht said. "The results of the investigation and a full explanation should be made public as soon as possible."
On August 25, a court in Turkmenistan sentenced Muradova, 58, to six years in prison on charges of illegal possession of ammunition following a trial held behind closed doors.
"I once again call on Turkmenistan to adhere to its OSCE commitments," the Chairman-in-Office added.