Rovshen Yazmuhamedov (RFERL)

Turkmen authorities have released a local journalist, who was arrested in the northeastern city of Turkmenabat earlier this month.

RFE/RL journalist Rovshen Yazmuhamedov, 30, was taken into police custody on May 6 and has been held for two weeks without any charge.

Human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, had expressed concerns over his unexplained detention, saying it could have been linked to Yazmuhamedovs' reporting activities.

Press freedom is almost non-existent in Turkmenistan as the government led by former dentist-turned president Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov controls all broadcast and print media.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Yazmuhamedov had recently been reporting on "sensitive social issues" including the official ban of hijab from schools.

RSF urged EU officials, who arrived in the central Asian country to discuss its neglected human rights policies, to raise Yazmuhamedov's arrest with the regime.

The EU said it asked Turkmen authorities for details about reasons for the reporter arrest during the talks in Ashgabat.

The EU is financing a series of development project in the gas-rich country including one have been specifically dedicated to strengthen Turkmenistan capacity to promote and protect Human Rights.

Several other RFE/RL journalists were arrested in Turkmenistan in recent years. One, Ogulsapar Muradova, died in detention in 2006.