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RFE/RL Review April 5, 2005

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The Best of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reporting
March 24-April 5, 2005

TULIP REVOLUTION DOMINATES RFE/RL BROADCASTS A top story for all RFE/RL language services were the tumultuous events in Kyrgyzstan that culminated on March 24 with former President Askar Akaev's flight to Moscow and the fall of Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev's government.
Correspondents from RFE/RL's Central News staff and Russian, Uzbek and Tajik Services were in Kyrgyzstan, in addition to the more than 30 local correspondents working out of the Kyrgyz Service's Bishkek Bureau (, provided comprehensive reports for all RFE/RL services and served as sources for many international media reports.
Starting on March 25, Senior News Editor/Correspondent Jean- Christophe Peuch filed daily reports from Bishkek, where he arrived early on March 24 ("Eyewitness To The Revolution,", "Youth Group Says Fight Is Not Over," Andrei Babitsky of the Russian Service, who arrived in Kyrgyzstan that same day, traveled back and forth between Bishkek and the southern city of Osh to speak directly to demonstrators, opposition leaders, young people on the streets and academics and experts in Kyrgyzstan. He filed several stories daily (transcripts in Russian available at,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, All services used audio cuts plentifully supplied by the Kyrgyz Service's Bishkek bureau.
This on-the-scene coverage was enhanced with reports filed from Prague by central news correspondents Gulnoza Saidazimova, Valentinas Mite and Jeremy Bransten, as well as analyses written by Washington- based online journalist Daniel Kimmage. All of RFE/RL's English- language coverage of the Tulip Revolution may be reviewed on the RFE/RL website's Kyrgyz news page ( as well as on the website's "Revolution in Kyrgyzstan special site (

** The Director of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev, may be reached by email at <>. The Director of RFE/RL's News and Current Affairs Service, Kestutis Girnius, may be reached by email at <>. The Director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Maria Klein, may be reached by email at <>. The Director of RFE/RL OnLine, Virginie Coulloudon, may be reached by email at <>.

TAJIK SERVICE INVESTIGATES ROLE OF YOUTH IN KYRGYZSTAN'S TULIP REVOLUTION RFE/RL's Tajik Service ran a two-part youth program March 25 and March 28 entirely devoted to discussions of the role of young people in neighboring Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution.
In the first program, moderated from Prague (audio at and, young Tajiks living in Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia were linked up by telephone to express their views and thoughts on the Kyrgyz revolt. A Tajik girl in Ukraine said her contemporaries should be more activist and criticized Tajik youth for being fearful, indifferent to political injustice and unaware of their rights. Two young men in Moscow said youth in Kyrgyzstan had witnessed the same irregularities in elections as seen in Tajikistan, had suffered the same hardships as Tajik youth but somehow they were far more organized and socially aware of their rights. A girl in Tajikistan said that, having already survived the trauma of the 1990's civil war, youth in Tajikistan are now very cautious. She argued that they prefer the political route and are against rebellions and revolutions. A pro-government youth organizer said young Tajiks love president Emomali Rakhmonov and will follow him in whatever he says. The young man added that a revolution is unnecessary in Tajikistan because people are happy. Several young girls said youth in Tajikistan was frightened of bloodshed with memories of losing loved ones in the civil war and would not risk going through that experience again for the sake of reform. Another said it would be in vain and would achieve nothing. A young man in Tajikistan commented that his generation is apathetic to politics because of a low level of social awareness. But a young Tajik living in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek said he really enjoyed observing the political events there and wished Tajik youth would organize in the same way.
The program received much comment from listeners on the web page of RFE/RL's Tajik Service, One letter said it was the best program they'd heard. Another praised the open and refreshing way in which young people expressed their views, saying: "I wish our future political leaders would be so open like your program participants." Another letter said "please continue to work in this way for the development of democracy in Tajikistan. Don't wait for the Americans or foreign organizations to bring us democracy... Let's do it by discussing democracy in our radio programs".
Because of this response, RFE/RL's Tajik Service aired a second round table three days later (audio at and is now working on a Russian language pilot program that would bring together youth from all Central Asian republics.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Massoumeh Torfeh, may be reached by email at <>.

...AND UZBEK SERVICE LOOKS AT ROLE OF YOUTH IN KYRGYZ EVENTS RFE/RL's Uzbek Service gave comprehensive coverage all week to the tumultuous events in neighboring Kyrgyzstan. A correspondent from the Tashkent bureau went to Bishkek and reported live on the demonstrations and from Bishkek parliament on latest developments. The Service sent another correspondent to Osh, to report on the revolution's progress in southern Kyrgyzstan.
The weekly Youth Program on March 25 featured Uzbek youths' reaction and views on the happenings in Kyrgyzstan. Some of the young people stopped on the street said they were following events closely and praised the political involvement of young people. One respondent called it a triumph of democracy in Kyrgyzstan. Others seemed ignorant of what was going on and of the role young people played in ousting President Akaev from office. Several of those questioned by RFE/RL's Uzbek Service answered that it couldn't happen in Uzbekistan because there is less democracy and more oppression in Uzbekistan. Moderators of the program also raised the issue of how Uzbek youth tries to stay informed and be politically engaged.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Adolat Najimova, may be reached by email at <>.

UKRAINIAN SERVICE INTERVIEWS SENATOR REID RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service correspondent followed the March 24 visit of a U.S. congressional delegation to Kyiv and got an exclusive interview with the Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV; transcript in Ukrainian at The group, which also included Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Patty Murray (D- WA), Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Lamar Alexander (R-Ten) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) was in Ukraine to assess the situation following last winter's "Orange Revolution."

** The Director of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Alexander Narodetsky, may be reached by email at <>.

UZBEK SERVICE COVERS DEATH OF POET LAUREATE RFE/RL's Uzbek Service on March 29 reported on a memorial service for prominent Uzbek poet Rauf Parfi, who died the night before ( Rauf Parfi had been awarded the title "People's Poet of Uzbekistan," but refused to accept the honor from Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Because of his membership in the banned opposition Erk Democratic Party (EDP), Parfi's books have not been published in Uzbekistan for the last 15 years.
EDP leader Muhammad Salikh who lives in exile in Europe gave an exclusive interview to RFE/RL, during which he talked about Parfi's poems and his role in Uzbek society. The Uzbek Service broadcast this interview, as well as the last interview Parfi gave to the Uzbek Service. Recollections of his friends, other prominent poets and opposition activists completed the program.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Adolat Najimova, may be reached by email at <>.

US AMBASSADOR SPEAKS TO BELARUS VIA RFE/RL US Ambassador to Belarus George Krol gave an exclusive interview on March 29 to the Belarus Service. The interview was broadcast to Belarus in two parts, on March 29 and March 30.
Ambassador Krol said that, in accordance with one of the requirements of the Belarus Democracy Act (signed by President Bush on October 20, 2004), a report on Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka's personal assets and bank accounts will soon be submitted for review by the US Congress. Krol expressed US concern and support for prisoners of conscience in Belarus, and spoke about anti- Americanism of official Belarus media and the recent airing of "Fahrenheit 911" on Belarusian TV. He noted a worsening of the human rights situation in Belarus, as was reflected in last month's annual State Department report. Ambassador Krol also spoke about what it is like to live in a country that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently referred to as an "outpost of tyranny."
A transcript of the Belarus Service's interview with Ambassador Krol can be read (in Belarusian) on the service's website, at

** The Acting Director of RFE/RL's Belarusian Service, Bohdan Andrusyshyn, may be reached by email at <>.

RFE/RL in the News

UZBEK SERVICE DIRECTOR ON IPI "GLOBAL JOURNALIST" PROGRAM Director of the Uzbek Service Adolat Najimova was invited to be a participant on the March 31 edition of "Global Journalist," produced by students of the Missouri School of Journalism in conjunction with the International Press Institute. Najimova took part in the program, " Kyrgyz and Democracy in Central Asia" by phone from Prague. Other participants included CNN Moscow correspondent Ryan Chilcote and Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution. The program was moderated by former CNN vice-president, now professor of journalism Stuart Loory. The 28- minute program can be heard at

** The Director of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Adolat Najimova, may be reached by email at <>.

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Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. "RFE/RL Review" is a weekly compilation of the best programming produced by the 19 services of the RFE/RL broadcast network. RFE/RL broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of programming a week in 28 languages to 20 countries in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and Southwestern Asia.

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