MOSCOW — A human rights activist and journalist has died in prison in Turkmenistan, a rights group said Thursday.
Ogulsapar Muradova bore a major head injury and there was evidence of strangulation, said Aaron Rhodes, executive director of the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights.
He blamed the government for what he said appeared to be a violent death.
"It's an extremely serious crime that has taken place," Rhodes said. "First of all because she was unfairly tried and imprisoned, and now she appears to have been the victim of an extrajudicial killing."
Muradova was associated with the Bulgaria-based Turkmenistan Helsinki Foundation rights group and was a reporter with U.S.-funded Radio Liberty.
She and two other rights defenders were arrested in June and later handed sentences ranging from six to seven years, according to the International Helsinki Federation. The charges were unclear.