Sunday 1 February 2004
January 29, 2004
Saudi Arabia: Hajj An Ancient Muslim Duty With Modern Trappings (Part 1)
Nearly 2 million pilgrims are in Saudi Arabia this year for the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. RFE/RL reports that increasingly, modern transportation and ancient piety are combining to make the hajj both a worldwide unifying force for Islam, and a security and management challenge for the Saudis.
January 28, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: What Do Amendments To Election Code Add Up To?
Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission announced yesterday that amendments and additions to the Election Code have been approved. Some of the changes are significant and likely to affect not only potential candidates and political parties but the way the media cover election campaigns.
January 21, 2004
Central Asia: Kyrgyz Rights Activists Call For End To Deportation Of Uyghurs To China
Kyrgyz human rights campaigners are calling on the Central Asian republics to stop deporting members of the Uyghur community to China, where they face the risk of being victimized. RFE/RL reports that China's neighbors have on several occasions forcibly returned Turkic Muslim Uyghurs suspected of being involved in pro-independence activities.
January 15, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Opposition Deputies Say Their Offices Are Bugged
In Kyrgyzstan, several opposition members of parliament claim to have found listening devices hidden in their offices. The security service and the government have denied any involvement, leaving open the question whether the bugs are genuine and, if so, who planted them.
January 14, 2004
Central Asia: Shanghai Group Opens Secretariat In Beijing Tomorrow
Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will open the organization's secretariat tomorrow at a ceremony in the Chinese capital, Beijing. Analysts tell RFE/RL that the event could have lasting significance for the members -- Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
January 09, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Survey Reports Positive Findings On Religious Freedom
A new report on religion in Kyrgyzstan shows that both registered and unregistered religious communities appear to function freely. However, a conflict surrounding last year's closure of six mosques in southern Kyrgyzstan continues. Also in the south, concerns are growing that Christian proselytism is sparking anger among Muslim believers.