Accessibility links

Breaking News


Nigina Bakhrieva
Human Rights Watch is urging the Kyrgyz government to immediately stop harassing human rights monitors doing research in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz authorities recently denied entry to prominent Tajik human rights activist Nigina Bakhrieva. She was the third foreign advocate working in southern Kyrgyzstan to be denied entry or deported in 2009.

Bakhrieva was preparing a report about the arrests and sentencing of residents of the southern village of Nookat.

Nookat residents had taken to the streets in protest after they were denied the right to publicly celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan.

In a statement, Andrea Berg, Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, says: "Kyrgyzstan is increasingly harassing rights advocates investigating the government's abusive campaign in southern Kyrgyzstan. It's no coincidence that Bakhrieva was denied entry after having been in touch with Nookat lawyers."

HRW says the government is carrying out a campaign in the south against what it views as Islamic extremism.

Read HRW's full statement here.
Anastasiya Mashchava
A Minsk district court today fined Young Belarus movement activist Anastasiya Mashchava more than 1 million rubles ($360) for taking pictures during a protest mocking the government, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Mashchava and fellow activists Andrei Kuzminski, Pavel Prakapovich, and Yahor Babrou were detained on December 2 after they set up a stand in central Minsk with a picture of a moustachioed man meant to represent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

A sign at the stand said, "If you don't like the regime, throw an egg at me." Boxes of eggs were available at the stand.

Several passersby expressed their attitude to the regime and threw eggs at the picture, which Mashchava photographed.

The official charge against Mashchava is "taking pictures without accreditation."

On December 3, Prakapovich and Babrou were sentenced to 15 days in jail and Kuzminski to seven days for holding an unsanctioned public gathering.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More