Accessibility links

RFE/RL Review May 20, 2005


The PDF version is available at http://www.rferl.org/reviews/

RFE/RL REVIEW
The Best of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reporting
-----------------
May 14-20, 2005


RFE/RL: AN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCE ON UZBEK UPRISING

* First on the Scene RFE/RL correspondents were among the first foreign broadcasters on the scene of mass protests in Andijon, filing reports that served as a source for international media, including newspapers, websites and other outlets in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Central Asia, as well as Europe and the U.S. RFE/RL's Uzbek Service and Central News unit in Prague coordinated coverage phoned directly from cities and villages in Uzbekistan, or filed from the Tashkent bureau and Kyrgyz, Tajik, Kazakh and Russian Services, all of whom had correspondents inside Uzbekistan. The English language content that was produced on the basis of their coverage can be found on a special webpage, http://www.rferl.org/specials/uzbek_unrest/; their reports can be found on the respective broadcast service sites http://www.ozodlik.org (Uzbek), http://www.azattyk.org (Kyrgyz), http://www.ozodi.org (Tajik), http://www.azattyq.org (Kazakh) and http://www.svoboda.org (Russian).
The Uzbek Service had been covering a trial of 23 businessmen in Andijon that sparked an initially peaceful protest, with the prisoners declaring a hunger strike and protesters massing at the local courthouse. That changed on the night of May 12, when family members and employees stormed a police station and then the prison, freeing several hundred inmates, including the men on trial. This group took several policemen hostage and occupied a government building, while tens of thousands of supporters gathered outside, surrounded by troops and police.
The Uzbek Service was in phone contact with the group inside the building and able to report live minute-by-minute developments. The young man at the other end of the phone asserted to the last that the protesters were negotiating with Uzbek authorities, had reached agreement and were about to peacefully vacate the building. RFE/RL later interviewed his family and confirmed that he was one of the many people killed shortly after the phone call.

* Extraordinary Effort -- Extraordinary Risk On May 13, the day of the violence, the Uzbek Service pre-empted regular programming and filled all six hours of daily airtime with reports on the events in Andijon. The service continued its crisis broadcasting well into the following week.
A correspondent of RFE/RL's Tajik Service managed to get into the sealed city very early the morning of May 14 and filed hourly reports for two days, intermittently sleeping on a rooftop.
Veteran Russian Service war correspondent Andrei Babitsky also got into the city, travelling from Tashkent with an Uzbek Service correspondent. They reported continued sporadic shooting in the city for several days. The two RFE/RL correspondents, looking for eyewitnesses and credible information on the casualties, were detained by police May 17, made to lie on the ground motionless for more than an hour, and escorted back to their apartment, which was searched. Babitsky was ordered to leave the city within 24 hours or risk imprisonment.

* RFE/RL in the Refugee Camps RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service had three correspondents in Southern Kyrgyzstan -- Kubanych Joldoshev in the city of Osh, Yrysbai Abdyraimov in Jalalabat and Sultan Kanazarov in an Uzbek refugee camp in the rural area of Teshiktash, in the Suzak district of Jalalabat region (to read one of Kanazarov's Kyrgyz-language reports, visit http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/security/ky/2005/05/8CEFC562-6850-4E3D-8205-B12A7EF18347.ASP). A fourth correspondent, based in Tashkent, remained there covering government reaction and developments elsewhere in Uzbekistan.
The Kyrgyz Service replaced its usual prerecorded program with a live morning show on May 14 and added a night shift on May 15 to bring its listeners the latest developments on what was happening at the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border the next morning. The two main themes were factual reporting on events in Andijon and their bloody aftermath, and the political, humanitarian and social aspects of the Uzbek refugee situation inside Kyrgyzstan. Radio Azattyk interviewed several Uzbek refugees, including those who had been wounded in Andijon and are being treated in the Suzak district hospital in Kyrgyzstan. The service also interviewed local officials and representatives of international bodies, including Kyrgyz parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebayev, Security Council Secretary Miroslav Niyazov, Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir- Uulu (http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/security/ky/2005/05/0E4C5209-0BED-4AF4-BC65-8C8B3D89393F.ASP), and special representative of the interim president for the Osh region Almambet Matubraimov.
To gauge international reaction, the service interviewed Markus Muller, who heads the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Center in Bishkek and Yelena Pavlyuk, a representative of the International Committee of the Red Crescent in Kyrgyzstan (http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/politics/ky/2005/05/D861236D-2B4D-454C-B4A2-FCF6F58679DF.asp). It also talked to Carlos Zaccagnini, the Chief of Mission for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kyrgyzstan, who was interviewed by correspondent Yrysbai Abdyraimov while visiting the town of Jalalabat on May 17 (http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/society/ky/2005/05/3B0911FB-C2E8-4500-B522-3BDFFA86FEDB.ASP). Ona Jukneviciene, the head of a European parliament delegation visiting Kyrgyzstan, was interviewed by correspondent Cholpon Orozobekova in Bishkek on May 17.

* ...Other Uzbek Hotspots RFE/RL correspondents were also on the scene of other Uzbek tension points in Ferghana City, Namagan and village of Karasu on the border with Kyrgyzstan, the main crossing for refugees.
RFE/RL's Uzbek Service correspondent Gofurjon Yuldoshev on the telephone to Prague from Karasu May 21: "The protest meeting which started in Karasu yesterday continued today. Protestors have demanded the release of a local farmer [and community leader], Bakhtiyor Rakhimov, and another 7 or 8 people detained the same day. This is their main demand. There's a large number of armed soldiers, uniformed and plain clothes police on the streets. Some of them detained several people including myself, Ozodlik (Radio Liberty) correspondent. They opened and checked my camera, minidisks, everything. I told them I was a correspondent for American radio. They were extremely rude. They ordered me to be silent. I asked what organization they represent. One said he was from the SNB (Uzbekistan's security service), the other one said he was from the MVD (the Interior Ministry)."
Earlier, Uzbek Service correspondent Elmurod Jusupaliev reported that "when I walked around the town of Karasu, I saw the buildings of local police, tax office and traffic police had been burnt. Besides many more buildings were damaged. A lot of cars, including police cars have been burnt."

* ...Reaction, Analyses Rounding out the coverage, RFE/RL reported Uzbek President Islam Karimov's statements placing blame for the unrest and bloodshed on Islamic terrorists (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/4CB0BBA0-35C6-4A33-B2D7-652B30BD7C41.html), his refusal to allow an international investigation (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/E340D670-C805-498C-A2F5-B51278FF73F7.html), and criticism of western reporting on Uzbekistan (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/B993E6C9-74E9-4259-B068-B7F1B5CABE0F.html).
On the other side were condemning statements by the governments of western democracies (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/BAAEC7A3-4B7A-4450-A478-C04827B64D62.html, http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/9DE0C895-74BA-45CE-82A4-0BC90C9AB66C.html), human rights organizations (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/E2586E24-DA98-453E-8BCD-B8D6243175EF.html) and protests in front of Uzbek embassies in several eastern, as well as western capitals (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/A04A4A57-AEFE-4100-AD99-55D10EB79DA6.html). RFE/RL's Kazakh Service covered protests in Almaty, interviewed Uzbeks living in Kazakhstan and in roundtable discussion asked Kazakh intellectuals what impact the Uzbek events may have on Kazakhstan.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Adolat Najimova, may be reached by email at <najimovaa@rferl.org>; the Director of RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Massoumeh Torfeh, may be reached by email at <torfehm@rferl.org>; the Director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Maria Klein, may be reached by email at <kleinm@rferl.org>; the Director of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev, may be reached by email at <tchoroevt@rferl.org>; the Director of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Merhat Sharipzhan, may be reached by email at <sharipzhanm@rferl.org>; the Director of RFE/RL's Central News department, Kestutis Girnius, may be reached by email at <girniusk@rferl.org>.


AFGHAN KIDNAPPERS OF INTERNATIONAL AID WORKER CONTACT RFE/RL Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Kabul Bureau received a telephone call on May 18 from a man claiming to represent a group that two days earlier kidnapped an international aid worker. The caller spelled out demands he said would have to be met to secure the release of Clementina Cantoni, a 32-year-old Italian national who works for the CARE International aid agency. RFE/RL's Kabul bureau chief, Amin Mohammad Mudaqiq, asked to speak to Cantoni, but was told she is in another location.
RFE/RL contacted CARE and Afghan authorities, who said the same caller had spoken to them on Tuesday. Interior Ministry spokesman Lutfullah Mashal confirmed that the calls were made by a man identifying himself as Timor Shah, one of the armed participants in the kidnapping. Mashal said the calls to the interior ministry and to RFE/RL's Kabul bureau were made from Cantoni's mobile (cell) phone.
Shah told RFE/RL of three demands on the Afghan government, saying "Our demands are legitimate and according to the Islamic Sharia." One of the demands he listed is to close a Wednesday night youth program of Radio Arman, a private Kabul radio station that is partly funded by USAID. Another request is to ban the sale of alcohol in Afghanistan and make greater state efforts to eradicate poppy crops. The third demand is to open Islamic boarding schools known as madrassahs: "They should consider madrassahs. We have these three demands. if they are met, we can release the lady safe and sound," he said.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai's office confirmed to RFE/RL that it is aware of the demands but offered no immediate comment. The bureau found out where the self-proclaimed kidnapper was from and sent a reporter to the village to interview the man's family. Relatives told RFE/RL they believed the motive for the kidnapping was financial, not religious.
RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan is one of Afghanistan's most popular radio stations, with a nationwide weekly listenership rate of over 60 percent and a weekly listenership of 70 percent in Kabul (2004 survey of 5 provinces by InterMedia Survey Institute). Radio Free Afghanistan resumed its Dari- and Pashto-language broadcasts in January 2002, after a break of nearly ten years, and is available to listeners via shortwave, satellite and AM and FM signals as well as the Internet at the service's trilingual website http://www.azadiradio.org and at http://www.rferl.org.
An English-language news report with more details about the kidnapping of Clementina Cantoni and the information the kidnappers gave Radio Free Afghanistan can be found on RFE/RL's website, at http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/05/f93bfdca-1b7d-42c5-bbf7-9bc73b1f15b8.html

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Afghanistan, Alexander Lukashuk, may be reached by email at <lukashuka@rferl.org>.


RADIO FREE AFGHANISTAN COVERS NEWSWEEK-SPARKED PROTESTS Radio Free Afghanistan provided full coverage of the protests and violence sparked by a Newsweek article about the alleged desecration of the Quran at the Guantanamo Bay prison (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/12CEEA6E-1653-4B82-A9F1-E4E716AE894E.html). The service had correspondents filing live reports from six locations where riots erupted. News and analysis programming was expanded by five hours at the peak of the crisis in mid-May, to accommodate the news flow and include nearly 30 live reports over the length of the 12-hour broadcast. In addition, Radio Free Afghanistan worked closely with RFE/RL's central newsroom to provide audio cuts of exclusive interviews and English language translations for use by RFE/RL's 17 other language services. Afghan service broadcasters worked with Central News editors to provide frequent story updates that were also posted to RFE/RL's website (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarchive/country/afghanistan.html).
Among the many exclusive interviews aired by Radio Afghanistan that week were conversations with Governor of Nangarhar Haji Din Mohoammad, Defense and Interior Ministry spokesmen, religious scholars Ilias Wahdat and Said Zarin Shah and the Chief of the Health Department in Jalalabad.

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Afghanistan, Alexander Lukashuk, may be reached by email at <lukashuka@rferl.org>.


AZERBAIJANI SERVICE GIVES VOICE TO BANNED DEMONSTRATORS RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service interviewed organizers and participants of a demonstration in downtown Baku May 21 that city officials banned and police tried to disperse (an English-language report on the demonstration can be found on the RFE/RL website, at http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/DF520189-0782-4DFE-A857-7ED3D347E37B.html).
RFE/RL correspondents reported from police stations and from the square where the event was to take place. RFE/RL correspondents saw people trying to gather in small groups close to the designated venue. According to Baku police, 45 people were detained while security forces tried to disperse groups calling for free parliamentary elections in November. There was a skirmish near the Hotel Azerbaijan as police tried to disperse the demonstrators, but there was no resistance from the demonstrators. City police chief Yashar Aliyev, said at a press conference, that some 500 people gathered for the protest. Two policemen were wounded, he said but the police chief denied using force against the demonstrators. Mehman Javadoglu of the opposition Musavat Party told RFE/RL that dozens were detained, among them 15 activists of the Bizim Azerbaijan (Our Azerbaijan) opposition bloc that organized the meeting and many were beaten up by the police. Some protestors held signs with US President Bush's picture.
Norwegian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Steynar Gil, told RFE/RL May 21 that foreign diplomatic sources are closely watching developments (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/AF2B4A52-D15D-472C-BBE4-9CCB514F4CDC.html).

** The Director of RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, Abbas Djavadi, may be reached by email at <djavadia@rferl.org>.


NORTH CAUCASUS SERVICE REPORTS RUSSIAN ACQUITTAL RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reported the trial of four Russian servicemen by a Russian military court in Rostov-on-Don and their acquittal on May 19 (an English-language report on the aquittal can be found on the RFE/RL website, at http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/5/C42FCA79-A056-404C-938C-A555FA55ECD0.html). The four soldiers had confessed to killing six Chechen civilians in January 2002. Chechens held a rally in Grozny May 20, protesting the jurors "callous" decision and expressing "incomprehension" and "outrage." Pro-Moscow Chechen administration head Alu Alkhanov issued a similar statement May 20, calling the verdict "illegal" and saying it undermines Chechen confidence in Russian justice.

** The Director of RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service, Aslan Doukaev, may be reached by email at <doukaeva@rferl.org>.


RFE/RL INTERVIEW LEADS TO NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE IN MONTENEGRO In May, the parliament of Montenegro held a two-day debate over a vote of no-confidence in parliamentary speaker Ranko Krivokapic, because of statements he made in an interview with RFE/RL's South Slavic & Albanian Languages Service (SSALS). In the interview, which aired in February, Krivokapic criticized and disparaged the patriotism of Montenegrins who accepted senior positions in Belgrade in the government of former president Slobodan Milosevic, now on trial in The Hague for genocide. Following the interview, pro-Serbian opposition parties demanded that. Krivokapic apologize, saying he had offended all Montenegrins living in Belgrade (more than 100.00), but Krivokapic refused. The opposition parties then tabled the issue in parliament, requesting Krivokapic's dismissal. Ruling party deputies defended Krivokapic, arguing he had not offended all Montenegrins living in Belgrade, only disclosed the truth about those who were cronies of Slobodan Milosevic. The two-day debate was broadcast live on state television May 10 and 11. A majority of deputies supported Krivokapich in the no-confidence vote and he remains Montenegrin parliamentary speaker.
The SSALS report on the no-confidence debate can be found on the service's website, at http://www.slobodnaevropa.org/article/2005/05/10/1a3f683c-3b1f-4ac6-93d1-9e783d6d0b43.html

** The Director of RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service, Omer Karabeg, may be reached by email at <karabego@rferl.org>.


RADIO FREE IRAQ COVERS GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR STABILITY, SECURITY... RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq has focused all week on efforts of Iraq's new government to contain and eradicate the recent upsurge in violence.
A program broadcast May 19 carried excerpts of remarks by Dr. Adnan Muhammad Salman al-Dulaymi, president of the Sunni Foundation Council (Diwan al-waqf al-sunni), speaking at a gathering of clerics that the Council organized in Baghdad's Nida' al-Islam ("Call of Islam") mosque that morning. Al-Dulaymi appealed for a measured look at the situation, saying: "I have called the imams of mosques to gather and study the current situation, and to consult with them on what we have to do in these difficult conditions through which our country and the imams of Sunni mosques in Iraq have been going. I have expressed my reservations against storming mosques, and arresting and killing imams. I have presented a number of [protest] notices to the Iraqi government, the U.S. forces, the U.S. embassy, and the U.K. embassy, where I have notified them on what has been going on in Iraq. We will continue to step in this path. Through dialogue and through non-violent and peaceful condemnation [of violence], we will be able to reach what we want. We condemn any act that leads to violence and to shedding the blood of Iraqis, whether they are Sunnis or Shi'is, Arabs or Kurds or Turkomans, Muslims or non-Muslims. No one benefits from bloodshed that can lead only to disaccord and chaos and that can never help us in building a new Iraq."
During the broadcast, Al-Dulaymi also repeated an appeal to fellow citizens: "We address a call to all Iraqis to preserve calmness and unity, and to abstain from violence, killing, and shedding blood. I have called for holding a conference where a charter of honor would be signed that would forbid an Iraqi to kill another Iraqi, and forbid an Iraqi to shed another Iraqi's blood. I was repeating this call many times, heading with it to political and religious authorities, but I have not seen any reaction from anyone. I even have not heard any condemnation from religious and political authorities. I have not heard until now that any institution would express its condemnation. I have not received any condolences, neither from a political nor a religious authority."
Radio Free Iraq correspondent Akhmad al-Zubaydi interviewed Al- Dulaymi afterwards and he confirmed in the conversation that the Sunni Foundation Council (Diwan al-waqf al-sunni) will conform with the decision of the Islamic Party and the Association of Muslim Clerics to close down [Sunni] mosques for three days in protest against arrests and "haphazard" practices of Iraqi security forces: "We do not take decisions at this gathering but already yesterday we decided to close down mosques for a period of three days after the Friday [noon] prayer is hold tomorrow on 20 May. It will last for a period of three days in protest against the incidents of killing imams of our mosques, threatening those who came to pray and arresting them, storming mosques and violating their sanctity."

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Iraq, Sergey Danilochkin, may be reached by email at <danilochkins@rferl.org>.


...DEBATE ABOUT KILLINGS IN SUNNI MOSQUES In a program aired May 19, RFI correspondent Jumana al-Ubaydi reported on a scholatic debate about killings in Sunni mosques.The accusation raised in his press conference May 18 by Harith al-Dari, president of the Association of Muslim Scholars, that it is the Badr organization who stands behind killing the imams of Sunni mosques in Iraq, has caused many reactions from politicians. In one response, Husayn al- Musawi, secretary general of the Shi'i Political Council (Al-Majlis al- siyasi al-shi'i) made the following statement:
"We do not agree with the statement of Mr. Harith al-Dari regarding Badr [organization] or accusing the government that it perpetrated something. It is impossible that Badr [organization] or the Iraqi government perpetrated any killing of any person. The government is now able to arrest any criminal, put him in prison, and proceed him to justice, performing so its natural role. There is no truth in these accusations. We wish that the tongues of the Association of Muslim Scholars, or of people with some social and political reputation in the country, be not inciting a sectarian strife that will, God willing, remain far from Iraq. We do not wish a religious strife between Shi'is and Sunnis. The repression apparatus of Saddam's regime and high Ba'thists are free, without being prosecuted by the Iraqi people or the [previous] interim or present Iraqi government. No plan has been laid down for prosecuting criminals. Death penalty from the previous era has been raised; only now, death penalty has been re-installed for those who have conducted terrorist operations. All these issues encouraged Ba'thists to establish terrorist formations aimed at threatening security and stability in the country."
Jawad al-Bulani, National Assembly member said "The recently raised accusation [from Harith al-Dari] are irresponsible accusations that are not supported with evidence and proofs. We prepare creating a governmental organization that will coordinate all political forces and militias. They know that a part of this organization will be dealing with many militias -- of [Kurdish] peshmergas, Badr, and of other parties including the Iraqi Islamic Party -- so that they know that these militias have been subjected to a law adopted at the time of [Paul] Bremer's authority. When [Paul] Bremer was the civil governor of Iraq, law number 91 ordered the integration of these militias into institutions of the army. These statements do not do any good, in fact. We warn from this escalation and provocation, in such a direct way, the aim of which is to continue its previous plans and drawing the country into a new crisis, especially as we have passed three or four important stages in the political process and now we are ready for drafting the constitution. There will be referendum on it, so anyone who protests should get engaged in building the country rather than provoking people with such issues."

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Iraq, Sergey Danilochkin, may be reached by email at <danilochkins@rferl.org>.


KYRGYZ SERVICE BREAKS NEWS ON PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service was the first radio station to inform listeners in Kyrgyzstan that interim president Kurmanbek Bakiev and Arnamys (Dignity) Party leader Feliks Kulov had joined forces to appear on a joint ticket for the approaching July presidential elections, instead of being rival candidates (http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/politics/ky/2005/05/FAFA856C-2A0D-4ADA-AD90-55BB7F635895.asp, http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/politics/ky/2005/05/B5BFEFC1-7E3C-4E1A-B6AE-CBCB70061233.asp). Bakiev commented on the possibility in Moscow during Victory Day celebrations there May 9 and his remarks were reported by the service's Moscow correspondent.
Radio Azattyk broadcast roundtable discussions and analyses of the potential new political alliance and got the first official confirmation in an exclusive interview with deputy prime minister Daniyar Usenov (http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/politics/ky/2005/05/C5281875-5AB1-4029-8EC3-A57CBCB55750.asp). He announced in the interview that Bakiev was appointing Feliks Kulov as the first deputy prime minister and if elected president would name him prime minister. The interview aired May 16, a day before the presidential decree was published. Two other presidential challengers -- Social-Democratic Party leader Almaz Atambayev (http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/politics/ky/2005/05/293E15D6-614F-478A-9546-AF78DDA132AF.asp) and Jengishbek Nazaraliev (http://www.azattyk.org/rubrics/politics/ky/2005/05/3A5C71E8-012D-4590-B431-C0C05189CB5C.asp) gave interviews to radio Azattyk, saying they were bowing out of the race and giving their support to the Bakiev-Kulov ticket.
Bakiev gained prestige as leader of the Kyrgyz revolution on March 24. Kulov, a political prisoner of the previous government of Askar Akayev, freed from jail after the revolution, was seen prior to his government appointment as Bakiev's main challenger.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev, may be reached by email at <tchoroevt@rferl.org>.


ROMANIA-MOLDOVA TELEPHONE LINE TO LISTENERS GREAT SUCCESS A phone line for listeners in Moldova, installed by the Romania-Moldova service in April, is ringing constantly with questions about a broad range of issues. Callers leave recorded comments and questions, which the service broadcasts daily during its Ora Moldova program. The questions are relayed in interviews with politicians and discussed with political analysts from Moldova and abroad.
During the week of May 16, the service aired every day an exclusive interview with a different government minister, starting with foreign minister Andrei Stratan. Questions posed to him from listeners asked about solutions to the Transdniester "frozen conflict", policy toward the EU and continuing rapprochement with the west. In an interview with Justice Minsiter Victoria Iftodi, broadcast May 13, listeners wanted to know why 80 percent of prison sentences are not implemented and why so many cases are referred to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg and who pays the costs. On behalf of listeners, RFE/RL asked minister of economy and commerce Valeriu Lazar about Moldova's relations with international financial institutions and their ties to the region. The interview aired on May 18 and was followed two days later with an interview with defense minister Valeriu Plesca about the situation in the army and relations with NATO under the Partnership for Peace program.
The Ora Moldova program is prepared in Prague during the week and in Chisinau at weekends

** The Director of RFE/RL's Romania/Moldova Service, Oana Serafim, may be reached by email at <serafimo@rferl.org>.


RFE/RL in the News

AWARDS FOR RFE/RL RUSSIAN SERVICE CORRESPONDENTS Two correspondents of RFE/RL's Russian Service have been honored for their work. Marina Katys, an environmental correspondent based at RFE/RL's Moscow Bureau, recently was awarded the most prestigious prize of the Russian Ecological Movement. She received the 2004 "Green Person of the Year" award at a ceremony in the Moscow Central Journalist Club May 19, in recognition of her weekly "Forbidden Zone" program about environmental problems.
RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Yuri Bagrov is the recipient of the Hellman/Hammett grant for 2005, awarded by Human Rights Watch for writers around the world who have been victims of political persecution. He was nominated by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists because of harassment and persecution by Russian authorities. Bagrov reports on Chechnya and the North Caucasus region for RFE/RL from his hometown Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia. He was found guilty in December of trumped up charges of attempting to use a false document to obtain Russian citizenship and ordered to pay a large fine. The campaign continued with a threat to deport Bagrov from his home in February. Bagrov said he remains that he will get his passport back and be able to travel again and continue working as a reporter.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Maria Klein, may be reached by email at <kleinm@rferl.org>.


ROMANIA'S KING MICHAEL RELIED ON RADIO FREE EUROPE The last king of Romania, Michael I says that, during years of exile in Switzerland after being forced to abdicate by the Soviets in 1947, he relied on Radio Free Europe for news of his homeland and also used RFE to remain in touch with Romanians. He said he tried to keep his countrymen informed of national and international events through regular broadcasts on Radio Free Europe. King Michael made the statement in an interview with the Prague daily Lidove Noviny, published May 20, following a visit to Prague to attend observances of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Romania/Moldova Service, Oana Serafim, may be reached by email at <serafimo@rferl.org>.


RFE/RL BACK ON FM AIR IN KYIV Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Ukrainian-language broadcasts can again be heard on FM in Kyiv, after a break of nearly a year. The Ukrainian capital's most popular radio station, "Voice of Kyiv" began rebroadcasting RFE/RL Ukrainian service programs on FM 98 on May 9.
RFE/RL president Thomas A. Dine welcomed the launch, saying "this is good for Voice of Kyiv and good for RFE/RL, but above all it is good for Ukrainian listeners to have access to another source of independent news and analysis."
Dine also noted that "the revived interest of Ukrainian media in carrying RFE/RL programs reflects a dramatic change in the media climate in Ukraine under the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko." Ukrainian Service programs of RFE/RL were previously rebroadcast on FM by Ukraine's Dovira national network, but dropped under pressure from the Kuchma regime in February 2004, prior to the contentious Fall 2004 presidential elections.
"Voice of Kyiv" airs RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service programs two hours daily in prime time. A live morning show, "Morning Liberty," produced in RFE/RL's Kyiv bureau is on the air from 0600 to 0655 [0300-0355 UTC]. "Evening Liberty," a nightly, call-in talk show is broadcast five times a week from 2000 to 2055 hours (1700-1755 UTC). The show is moderated from RFE/RL's Prague operations center and features two guests of opposing views in Ukraine. RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service Director Alexander Narodetsky says" the impact of "Voice of Kyiv" is already significant, with many listeners from Kyiv calling in comments, whereas previously we had no calls from Kyiv listeners."
Outside of Kyiv, RFE/RL Ukrainian-language broadcasts can be heard on shortwave and satellite and, in Kharkiv and several other cities, on FM, AM, UKW and cable radio frequencies. The Ukrainian Service is actively working to expand partnerships with other radio stations, in an effort to achieve nationwide FM coverage for RFE/RL Ukrainian language broadcasting.
RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service broadcasts nearly 7 hours of programming a day Monday through Friday, and 3 hours every Saturday and Sunday, with programs produced in Prague and the service's Kyiv Bureau. Ukrainian Service programming is available via the Internet, at the service's website http://www.radiosvoboda.org and at http://www.rferl.org

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


UKRAINIAN SERVICE LAUNCHES SECOND TELEVISION PARTNERSHIP RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has launched a second television show, in partnership with independent national TV network ERA TV. The 45-minute weekly talk show, called "Era of Liberty," was inaugurated May 12.
The show is a roundtable discussion with three participating journalists on Ukrainian issues. The journalists are chosen carefully, always representing one Russian, one Ukrainian and one western media with an RFE/RL moderator to provide different perspectives. In the pilot show, the theme was "The First 100 Days of President Yushchenko." The show is bilingual Russian and Ukrainian without translation.
The Ukrainian Service has another prime time television show that has been on the air for a year on independent Channel Five -- a weekly Sunday talk show in the classic format with invited guests -- experts and politicians debating the issue of the week. Negotiations are being finalized with a third national TV station, Donetsk-based Television Ukraine. Under a proposal accepted in principle, the TV channel will air weekly an RFE/RL roundtable dicussion of Ukrainian regional issues, bringing together in a phone hook-up participants from different districts, provinces and towns to exchange opinions on common themes of interest.

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


KYRGYZ SERVICE IN PILOT TV PROJECT RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service has agreed to a proposal of the Kyrgyz national TV and Radio Company (KTR) for a joint television project. The partnership so far has produced three pilot shows called "Inconvenient Questions," Moderated and edited entirely by a Kyrgyz Service correspondent in Bishkek, the weekly show was launched on May 4. KTR president Sultan Abdyrakmanov, a former correspondent of Radio Azattyk has said he is in negotiations with the International Broadcasting Bureau in Washington and RFE/RL on a range of TV and radio joint projects.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev, may be reached by email at <tchoroevt@rferl.org>.


CORRECTION In the May 13, 2005 issue of "RFE/RL Review," credit should have been given to Eugen Tomiuc of Central News for conducting the interview broadcast on May 6 by the Romania/Moldova Service with former Romanian monarch King Michael.

In the April 22, 2005 issue of "RFE/RL Review," credit should have been given to Grant Podelco of Central News for conducting the interview posted to the RFE/RL website on April 21 with Czech stem cell researcher Dr. Peter Dvorak.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, international communications service to Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and Southwestern Asia funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

RFE/RL, Inc.

1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW * Washington, DC 20036 Phone +1.202.457.6900 * Fax +1.202.457.6992

Vinohradska 1 * 110 00 Prague 1 * Czech Republic Phone +420.2.2112.1111 * Fax +420.2.2112.3002

Internet http://www.rferl.org

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Get "RFE/RL Review" via e-mail!

To subscribe Send an email to <weekrev-sub@list.rferl.org>

To Unsubscribe Send an email to <weekrev-unsub@lit.rferl.org>

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Managing Editor: Sonia Winter <winters@rferl.org>

For more information about any of the stories mentioned in "RFE/RL Review," or to learn more about RFE/RL, please contact Martins Zvaners at <zvanersm@rferl.org> or by calling +1-202-457-6948.
XS
SM
MD
LG