Friday, April 18, 2014


Iranian Killer Pardoned Moments Before Execution

In a dramatic scene at a scheduled public execution, an Iranian woman spared the life of her son's killer as he stood with a noose around his neck. The victim's relatives were tasked with pushing the chair out from under the convicted killer, but instead the victim's mother slapped him and then forgave him. The scene was captured in photographs by Arash Khamooshi of Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency.

Top Shots

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

A Visit To Moldova's Autonomous Gagauzia Region

In February, Moldova's autonomous region of Gagauzia -- home to a Russian-speaking, ethnically Turkic minority -- voted for closer ties with Russia, and voted against closer EU integration for Moldova. Gagauz voters also supported the region's right to declare independence should Moldova lose or sur

Ukraine's Crisis In Political Cartoons

A domineering and sinister Russia, ineffectual Western leaders, and a skeptic's take on political realities in Ukraine: RFE/RL political cartoonists Zhenya O, Corax, and Sergei Yolkin weigh in on the Ukraine crisis.

Photos Of The Week #15

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Separatist Protesters Take Over Police HQ In Slovyansk

Crowds gathered as armed separatist protesters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk took over the local police headquarters. Later in the day, separatists also took control of city hall and the Ukrainian secret service (SBU) HQ. The crowds of people were supportive of the armed men, handing them cigarettes and water.

Friends And Foes In Akhmetov's Orbit

Getting rich in Ukraine requires powerful friends, and results in powerful enemies. A guide to who's who in the world of oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.

A Century Of Political Posters

As Europe marks the centenary of the start of World War I, Prague is hosting an exhibition of political propaganda from the first modern war until today.

"Bled for Boston": Remembering The Boston Marathon Bombings

Residents of Boston are marking the first anniversary of the double bombing that struck the city's marathon on April 15, 2013, killing three people and wounding at least 260. Over the past year, photographer Chris Padgett noticed a growing number of Bostonians who commemorated the tragedy with tattoos showing their pride in their city. The trend gained momentum as some tattoo parlors offered to donate the proceeds from Boston-themed tattoos to an aid fund for the bombing victims. Padgett started a photo project called "Bled for Boston" to document, in his words, "the people who dedicated permanent space on their bodies as memorials to their city, first-responders, and the people who lost their lives at the Marathon.”

Blast Hits Market In Pakistani Capital

Police were investigating the site of a bomb blast that struck a fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, early on April 9. The bombing killed at least 25 people and injured at least 70. Officials said the explosives had been placed in a fruit box. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)

April 9, 1989: Soviet Crackdown In Tbilisi

In the spring of 1989, Georgians took to the streets to demand independence from the Soviet Union. At the peak of the demonstrations, many thousands of people -- some of them on hunger strike -- gathered in central Tbilisi. On April 9, Soviet Interior Ministry troops moved in to crush the peaceful protests, killing at least 20 people and leaving hundreds injured or poisoned by gas. The crackdown became one of the turning points in the final years of the Soviet Union. (13 PHOTOS)

Government Buildings Stormed In Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russia Ukrainian protesters have stormed the main government building in the eastern city of Donetsk. Some 2,000 protesters rallied outside the regional administration building earlier on April 6, before a group of protesters broke into the building and raised the Russian flag. Meanwhile in Luhansk, also in the east of the country, protesters broke into the headquarters of Ukraine's security agency, the SBU.

Photos Of The Week #14

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Afghan Voters Go To Polls In Presidential Election

Voting has begun in Afghanistan's presidential election, which will mark the first democratic transfer of power since the country was tipped into chaos by the fall of the hard-line Islamist Taliban regime in 2001. Amid fears of violence and insecurity, thousands of Afghans lined up at polling centers from early morning to cast their ballots. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)

Balochistan: Portraits Of Life On The Brink

Balochistan, a vast, resource-rich desert region spanning Pakistan and Iran, is a hotbed of separatist conflict. In his new book titled "Balochistan at a Crossroads," journalist Willem Marx and photographer Marc Watterlot documented the suffering and struggles of Baluch people living in underdeveloped and marginalized communities in both Pakistan and Iran.

A Look At The Work Of Anja Niedringhaus

Anja Niedringhaus, an award-winning photographer who spent her 20-year career covering conflict zones -- including the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, and Libya -- was killed while covering elections in Afghanistan on April 4. She was in a car in eastern Afghanistan with AP reporter Kathy Gannon when an Afghan policeman opened fire on them, killing Niedringhaus instantly. This is a look at Anja Niedringhaus's work.

Nagorno-Karabakh -- Daily Life In A Frozen Conflict

Nearly 20 years have passed since a May 1994 cease-fire put an end to the Nagorno-Karabakh war, and residents are carrying on with ordinary life in the midst of the so-called frozen conflict.

Crimea: Playground For The Elite

With its Crimean takeover, Russia has not only expanded its borders -- it's also reclaimed miles of sunny, storied beachfront property. Here's a look at Crimea's history as a prime holiday destination.

Pictures Of Health: Real State Of Turkmen Medical Care A Far Cry From Official Images

The Month of Health and Sports is under way in Turkmenistan, with thousands of people throughout the country taking long walks in parks and participating in compulsory physical fitness classes at their workplaces. The campaign is part of health-care initiatives launched by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. Since coming to power in 2006, Berdymukhammedov has invested tens of millions of dollars to modernize his country's health-care sector, building gleaming new medical facilities filled with state of-the-art technology. For many ordinary Turkmen, however, the reality is far less shiny.

Afghans Register To Vote

RFE/RL's Frud Bezhan took these pictures at various voter-registration centers in and around Kabul on April 1, the last day of registration for Afghanistan's presidential and provincial elections on April 5.
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