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Radio Free Europe Journalist Dies in Turkmenistan Jail


U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty says its correspondent in Turkmenistan has died in a Turkmen prison where she was serving a six-year sentence.

The Prague-based radio says Turkmen security officials notified relatives of Ogulsapar Muradova of her death Thursday and assured them that she died of natural causes.

But the press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, says Muradova's family identified traces of blows to the body and a wound on the head. The rights group has called for a full investigation into the journalist's death.

RFE/RL says the time and circumstances of Muradova's death remain unclear.

Muradova was arrested in Turkmenistan in June with two opposition activists. In August, a Turkmen court found her guilty of illegal possession of weapons in a trial that raised international alarm.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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