Saturday 21 May 2005
May 20, 2005
Afghanistan: Killings Raise Concerns For Aid Workers' Safety
Eleven Afghans have been killed in two ambushes that took place in 48 hours in southern Afghanistan. Among those killed are four employees of Chemonics, a U.S.-based company that carries out antidrug projects in Afghanistan. The U.S. State Department announced that Chemonics has said it now plans to withdraw its employees from southern Afghanistan.
May 19, 2005
Afghanistan: Former Female TV Presenter Shot Dead In Kabul
A female Afghan television presenter was shot dead yesterday in Kabul. She moderated a popular music program that had angered conservatives before she left her job under unclear circumstances in March. Police say it is not clear yet whether her killing is related to her work. An investigation has been launched into her killing. Reporters Without Borders says Shaima Rezayee is the first journalist to be killed in Afghanistan since the end of the war in 2001.
May 19, 2005
Afghanistan: Was Taliban Involved In Uzbek Violence?
Aftermath of riots in Andijon, 14 May On 13 May, Uzbek security forces fired on demonstrators in the eastern city of Andijon, following attacks on a police station, military barracks, and prison. The government has said that 169 people were killed, including more than 50 foreign fighters, though opposition groups say as many as 750 people were killed. [For more on these events, see RFE/RL's dedicated webpage: Unrest in Uzbekistan --> /specials/uzbek_unrest/ ]
May 18, 2005
Afghanistan: Kidnappers Present Demands For Italian Aid Worker
A man claiming to be one of the kidnappers of an Italian aid worker in Afghanistan has spelled out demands for her release in a phone call to RFE/RL. The demands suggest the kidnappers are Islamic fundamentalists. But the Taliban has denied any connection to the kidnapping of the CARE International worker.
May 17, 2005
Kuwait: Women Win Political Rights Over Islamist Opposition
Saudi Arabia is now the only Mideastern nation with elections where women are not allowed to vote In a move that surprised even some of its members, the parliament of Kuwait has voted to give women the right to vote and run in parliamentary and municipal elections. Both the United Nations and the United States, which is seeking to spread democracy in the Muslim world, have hailed the move as a major step forward for Kuwaiti society. But conservatives in the small Persian Gulf nation are bitterly contesting the law, with some vowing eternal damnation for those who voted for it.
May 17, 2005
U.S.: 'Newsweek' Retracts Koran-Desecration Story
'Newsweek' has fully retracted its story "Newsweek" magazine has retracted an article alleging that U.S. interrogators at the U.S. military's detention center for terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had desecrated the Koran. The article sparked violent anti-U.S. demonstrations in several Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, where at least 15 people were killed. The retraction came on Monday, a day after the weekly news magazine acknowledged parts of the story published earlier this month may not be accurate. U.S. officials have criticized the report, saying that it damaged the United States' image around the world and caused harm.
May 16, 2005
World: 'Newsweek' Apologizes For Errors In Koran-Desecration Report
'Newsweek' on sale in Islamabad, Pakistan The magazine "Newsweek" yesterday apologized for errors in a report that said interrogators desecrated the Koran at a U.S. military detention center for suspected terrorists. The U.S. weekly's report caused outrage among Muslims and led to violent demonstrations in several provinces of Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of at least 15 people. The report was condemned by clerics in several Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The editor of "Newsweek" has extended sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.
May 16, 2005
Afghanistan: The Significance Of The Koran
Hundreds of people took to the streets in protest last week Demonstrations, some of them violent, have recently rocked Afghanistan as well as several other countries with Muslim majorities. In Afghanistan, these demonstrations, led initially by students, have claimed at least 13 lives. Ostensibly, these demonstrations began in protest at a short report in the U.S.-based "Newsweek" on 9 May, which alleged that interrogators at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba "in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet."
May 15, 2005
Afghanistan: Tensions Remain High Over Alleged Desecration
Protesters in Jalalabad last week Tensions continue to run high in Afghanistan after at least 10 people have died in recent anti-U.S. protests there. The violence occurred over reports that interrogators at the U.S. military prison for suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, desecrated the Koran. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that opponents of Afghanistan's close links with Washington are inciting the violent protests. But he also says U.S. military action in Afghanistan may have helped create resentments among ordinary Afghans.
May 14, 2005
Afghanistan: Authorities On Alert After Days Of Violent Protests
Protesters this week in Jalalabad Police and army forces in Afghanistan are on a state of alert after three days of violent anti-American protests that shook several provinces of the country. At least 10 people have died so far in the protests, which were triggered by a U.S. magazine report that said U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had desecrated the Koran.
May 13, 2005
Afghanistan: What Is Fueling The Anti-U.S. Demonstrations?
A protest in Kabul The trigger that launched the deadly and destructive student-led demonstrations which began peacefully on 10 May in the eastern Nangarhar Province and spread to at least eight other provinces around Nangarhar and in the southern and northern parts of the country as well as Kabul are well-known. What is less understood is who has been fueling these rallies and for what purpose.