Independent Turkmenistani journalist Khudayberdy Allashov and his mother, Kurbantach Arazmedova, were released on 15 February after being given a three-year conditional sentence for possessing chewing tobacco. They were released from the courtroom and are back home with the rest of their family.
Khudayberdy Allashov was detained along with his mother and wife on 3 December 2016, in Dashoguz province, northern Turkmenistan. It was reported that a group of armed law enforcement officials entered their house and found a couple of small sachets of chewing tobacco. Khudayberdy Allashov and his mother were charged with possessing chewing tobacco, and had been in detention since their arrest. Possession, use, sale, storage, transportation and cultivation of chewing tobacco is illegal in Turkmenistan although chewing tobacco is commonly consumed in Turkmenistan and was not known to have led to arrests in the past. They were facing up to seven years in prison.
Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.