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Turkmen journalist's apartment attacked with stones by unidentified individuals

On the night of 11 November a group of unidentified individuals attacked the apartment of Annamamed Myatiev, the former correspondent for the newspaper “Neitralny Turkmenistan”, who was dismissed in 2009, with stones.

As a result, a window was knocked out and mirrors were broken in the bedroom. Luckily, Annamamed himself, who temporarily lives alone, was in another room and escaped unharmed.

The police emergency response team and criminalists, who had been summoned to the crime scene, initiated the investigation. Three cobblestones were found in the room amidst broken glass.

A.Myatiev says that the incident cannot be treated as just an act of vandalism. He resides in a five-storey apartment building but the stones were targeted directly at the window of his apartment. His neighbours’ windows were not affected.

Prior to the incident, on 26 October, when he was walking along the street, a young man in sunglasses chased down Annamamed, smashed him in the face and ran away. As a result Annamamed’s lower lip was cut. He did not contact the police then but now he assumes that this was a warning.

Apparently, the special services are suspecting him of collaboration with foreign mass media and are trying to intimidate him.

On 28 June 2010 Annamamed, who was scheduled to depart to Netherlands for an eye surgery accompanied by his spouse, was prevented from exiting the country. Only the interference of human rights defenders, including Elena Bonner, allowed the couple to leave abroad for a surgery and medical treatment two weeks later.

Pressure and crackdown on journalists have become commonplace in Turkmenistan. Let us remind that on the night of 30 December 2010 the home of of Radio Azatlyk stringer Gurbansoltan Achilova was attacked in the same way.

According to A. Myatiev’s spouse Elena, Annamamed now fears for his life and health.

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Annamamed Myatiev graduated from the Department of Journalism of the Urals State University and worked as a reporter for almost 30 years in Turkmenistan. In 2009 he was dismissed from the newspaper “Neitralny Turkmenistan” on the grounds of “ill health”, though he did not submit a letter of resignation.

Source: TIHR