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Podcast: Paying Price For Reporting The Truth; Harvesting Hash On Horseback


Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev (left) and his wife, Nigar (center), speak with Daisy Sindelar at RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague.

Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev (left) and his wife, Nigar (center), speak with Daisy Sindelar at RFE/RL's headquarters in Prague.

Human rights take center stage on this week's episode of The Blender. More specifically, the issue of press freedom in RFE/RL's broadcast countries and those who pay severe penalties for reporting the truth.

Azerbaijan, ruled by President Ilham Aliyev, is recognized as one of the world's "predators of press freedom." Correspondent Daisy Sindelar speaks with Eynulla Fatullayev, one of Azerbaijan's most respected journalists, who was recently released after serving four horrific years in prison for his reporting.

​We also sit down with Jamal Yazliyeva, the director of our Turkmen Service, to discuss the outrageous case of RFE/RL reporter Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev. Yazkuliyev has been sentenced to five years in jail on charges that Reporters Without Borders RSF) has called "absurd." RSF says Yazkuliyev is being punished for his outspoken investigative reporting and his online blogs.

Elsewhere on the podcast, Merkhat Sharipzhanov talks about the unusual method of harvesting wild marijuana practiced in one remote part of Central Asia. Merkhat wrote about this a month or so ago for rferl.org, and his story attracted international attention. We decided to get in on the action.

Washington correspondent Heather Maher talks to U.S. soldiers from the so-called "9/11 generation," who are finding that it was much easier to join the military than to leave it behind.

Grant Podelco

Grant Podelco

And in our monthly "Ear to the Ground" segment, Lucian Stefanescu introduces us to the music of MoZuluArt from Zimbabwe and Swiss composer and pianist Nick Baertsch and his band Ronin, both of whom performed recently at the Ethno Jazz Festival in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau.

This week’s host is Grant Podelco.

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Listen to or download Episode 39 of The Blender above or subscribe to The Blender on iTunes. For the complete archive of The Blender, click here.
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