Ogulsapar Muradova

Ogulsapar Muradova was a Turkmen human rights activist and and journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In 2006 Muradova was arrested along with two others. They were accused of smearing Turkmenistan’s international reputation according to the state-controlled press. Reportedly, Muradova was denied a lawyer and her closed trial lasted approximately 5 minutes. Muradova died just a few days into her prison sentence. The family’s request for an autopsy was denied by the state. Murdova was believed to have been drugged and tortured as her body showed severe wounds to the head and neck. Turkmen security forces later prevented people from seeing the body or contacting Murdova’s relatives.

Illustration by Johnny Selman


Human Rights Watch describes Turkmenistan, ruled by President-for-life Saparmurat Niazov, as “one of the most repressive and closed countries in the world. The government tolerates no dissent, allows no media or political freedoms, and has driven into exile or imprisoned political opposition, human rights defenders and independent journalists.” Ogulsapar is represented in a stylized halftone pattern that evokes the printed banner of journalism. The green slash represents the Turkmen government and their shady and fatal crime against Ogulspar.

Total Area
491,210 km2 (53rd)


Unitary presidential republic

5,429,494 (117th)


$14,174 per capita