Chrono-tm.org fires back
Farid Tukhbatullin, head of the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR), of which the Chronicles of Turkmenistan (chrono-tm.org is the press service, has sent the following statement to journalists:
On 18 July in the morning the website of the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” was hacked.
The website has been operating for about six years. Throughout these years it has posted thousands of articles, news casts and photos from Turkmenistan — the country where it is extremely difficult to obtain unbiased information.
During the days when the arms depot explosions occurred near Ashgabat, our website remained the only source of information providing coverage of the developments. Despite the risks of repressions by the Turkmen special services, our correspondents gained information from Abadan and forwarded it along with photo and video materials, which were subsequently posted on the website “Chronicles of Turkmenistan”.
Under the circumstances where the Turkmen authorities did not give any coverage of the explosions, Russian, European, US and other foreign media published our materials referring to the information from our website.
The Turkmen Foreign Ministry made statements about “disseminating deliberately misleading information”, implying our materials. Special service agents paid daily visits to the house of the website editors’ mother, who lives in Turkmenistan, exerting serious psychological pressure on the elderly woman. Now the website has been hacked:
If the Turkmen authorities had arguments, refuting our publications, they would need neither public statements, nor covert repressions and other actions designed to suppress freedom of speech. They do not have any arguments, nor can they realize that one can fight against freedom of speech but cannot defeat it.
The TIHR is making all efforts to restore the website as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the chrono-tm.org site appears to be trying to re-establish itself (see: screenshot).