Ever-expanding news “black hole”

The Turkmen government controls all media and the few internet users are able to access only a highly-censored version of the internet. But that does not satisfy President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who is also known as “Father Protector.” Harassment of the few journalists who work clandestinely for media outlets based abroad keeps on growing. In recent years, several of these journalists have been arrested, tortured, physically attacked or otherwise forced to stop working, with the result that their employers now generally use the services of citizen-journalists. On a pretext of making the cities more visually appealing, the authorities periodically revive a campaign of removing satellite dishes, thereby depriving the public of one of the few remaining ways to access uncontrolled news coverage. A new broadcasting law provides in theory for the possibility of privately-owned TV channels but only on condition that they promote “a positive image of Turkmenistan.” In 2018, the United Nations formally recognized that the Turkmen state was responsible for journalist Ogulsapar Muradova’s death in detention in 2006 as a result of mistreatment.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



178 in 2018

Global score


84.20 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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