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Tajik Oppositionist Charges Poisoning --> Rahmatullo Zoirov at a press conference in 2005 (RFE/RL) August 29, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The leader of the Social Democratic Party of Tajikistan (HSDT) today claimed to have been the target of a poisoning attempt, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported.

Addressing a news briefing in Dushanbe, Rahmatullo Zoirov said tests he recently received in Switzerland and Russia testify to the presence of unspecified toxins in his blood and urine.

Zoirov provided no further details, saying only that he does not know who may have wanted to poison him.

The HSDT leader returned last week to Tajikistan after spending about a month abroad, officially to undergo medical checkups.

Zoirov is widely expected to be nominated as a candidate for the November presidential election when his party holds its congress on September 17.

Tajik political analysts believe Zoirov could pose a serious challenge to President Imomali Rahkmonov if the latter decides to run for a third term.

Central Asian Cinema
Gulnara Abikaeyeva's June 29 presentation in Prague (RFE/RL)

EAST OF THE WEST: On June 29, RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center hosted a presentation by GULNARA ABIKEYEVA, director of the Central Asian Cinematography Center in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Abikeyeva is a leading expert on Kazakh and Central Asian cinema, a chairwoman of the jury of this year's East Of The West section of the Karlovy Vary film festival. Abikaeyeva gave an overview of major trends in Central Asian cinema since the 1960s. Abikeyeva has just completed a major DVD collection of the most popular films of the five Central Asian countries and is now beginning work on a similar collection of Central Asian documentaries.


Listen to the complete presentation (45 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media

Other Articles On Central Asian Culture:

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Central Asian Directors Discuss Issues Behind The Camera

Ancient European Music Meets Central Asian Masters

Central Asian Masters Revive Old Ways Of Teaching Traditional Music


To view an archive of RFE/RL's reporting on culture throughout its broadcast area, click here.

THE COMPLETE STORY: Click on the icon to view a dedicated webpage bringing together all of RFE/RL's coverage of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.