An exceptionally poignant, well-researched and well-reported feature on "Childhood in the Sulukta Coal Mines"
earned the Kyrgyz Service recognition as the best feature story produced by RFE/RL's journalists services. Kyrgyz Service reporter Torokul Doorov spoke to numerous sources involved with the story to produce a powerful report that highlights one of the most depressing forms of social injustice -- the exloitation of child labor. The story succeeds in giving voice to marginalized and abused children forced to work in the mines, making their plight known to the public at large.
Two other features were commended by the judges. One, "Afghan Woman's Beheading Latest In Alarming Trend,"
examined the horrifying case of a 25-year-old woman who was killed and beheaded by her husband's family after she refused to engage in prostitution. Radio Azadi correspondent Shahpur Saber was able to visit members of the husband's family -- now jailed for the killing -- to document their accounts of their actions. It is a very brave and important piece of reporting.
An interview by Central News correspondent Heather Maher
earned the second commendation. Maher's interview with journalist Robert D. Kaplan about his latest book, "The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate", provided genuine intellectual stimulation and lots of useful, interesting information.