Friday 17 September 2004
July 22, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Outspoken Ombudsman Possesses Unique Regional Voice
Central Asia is a region where few dare challenge the will of the presidents. Most officials follow their president's lead, and what attempts there are to find an official to act as a bridge, a mediator, between the people and the government are usually made to serve the interests of the authorities. But there is one man, the ombudsman in Kyrgyzstan, who routinely voices opinions that contradict the government's views.
July 20, 2004
Kyrgyz Opposition Seeks Release Of Leader
20 July 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The deputy chairman of Kyrgyzstan's opposition Ar-Namys (Dignity) party said today that the party's leader should legally have been released from jail days ago and vowed there will be protest actions if authorities do not release the leader within two days.
July 17, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: U.S. Diplomat Urges Bishkek To Set Democratic Example For Central Asia
17 July 2004 -- A senior U.S. diplomat on a visit to Bishkek has expressed hope for a democratic leadership transition in Kyrgyzstan after next year's presidential vote. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said this would set an example for other Central Asian nations.
July 16, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Activist Says Young People Alienated From Government
Parents around the world have always wanted their children to have a better life than they've had themselves. But in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, this dream doesn't seem to be coming true. Kyrgyz youth are faced with poorer education resources and fewer economic opportunities than the country's older generations. The result, says one Kyrgyz rights activist who spoke in Washington this week, is an apathetic generation that feels increasingly isolated from its government. RFE/RL correspondents Annie Bang and Michelle Townsend report.
July 13, 2004
Analysis: Kyrgyz Spy Scandal Takes Domestic Turn
Initial reports promised a surefire sensation. On 2 July, news agencies broke the news that Kyrgyzstan's National Security Service (SNB) had arrested 10 high-ranking officials from key ministries on espionage charges. Only a day earlier, a top SNB official had warned parliament that religious extremists pose a growing threat to the country. Suddenly, the air was rife with rumors that militants had penetrated the highest reaches of government. At least one report suggested that extremists were planning to seize power....
July 12, 2004
Analysis: Russia Coordinates New Broadside Against OSCE
At Moscow's instigation, the six CIS states that are members of the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan), together with Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, issued a statement in Vienna on 8 July harshly criticizing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and calling for a fundamental refocusing of its priorities and activities.
July 09, 2004
OSCE: Several CIS States Rebuke Democracy Watchdog
Russia and eight other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are accusing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) -- the continent's biggest security and human rights watchdog -- of failing to respect their sovereignty. A written statement signed by Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan said the OSCE does not respect fundamental principles such as noninterference in internal affairs and respect of national sovereignty.
July 08, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Russian Troops, Like U.S. Counterparts, Now Enjoy Diplomatic Immunity
The upper house of Kyrgyzstan's parliament has voted to give Russian soldiers stationed in the country diplomatic immunity. Soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition stationed in Kyrgyzstan for operations in Afghanistan already enjoy such immunity. But some in Kyrgyzstan question why foreign troops should be exempt from Kyrgyz laws while they are on Kyrgyz soil.
July 07, 2004
Central Asia: Buying Ignorance -- Kyrgyz, Kazakhs Lead In Education Reform (Part 4)
In Central Asia, corruption in the education system is rife. Low wages and lax standards have created a vicious cycle in which teachers and administrators demand bribes that students and parents often feel they can't refuse. The costs -- to students, schools, and society in general -- are high. Now officials in two countries, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, are taking tentative steps to introduce reforms. In this fourth and final part of our series on corruption in education, RFE/RL reports that reformers in both countries are hoping standardized testing can solve some of the problems.
July 07, 2004
Western Press Review: Kerry Picks A Running Mate, Russia's Central Asia Bid, The Origins Of Terrorism, Serbia's Pro-EU President
Prague, 7 July 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Much press coverage today is dominated by a discussion of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's choice of a vice-presidential running mate. Kerry announced yesterday that he has chosen Senator John Edwards, a dynamic and personable lawyer from North Carolina, to join him in his bid to win the White House from U.S. President George W. Bush this November. The trial of Saddam Hussein also remains a topic of media interest, as does Russia's response to the rise of NATO influence in Central Asia, the Arab world's efforts to encourage democratic reform, how the first Gulf War paved the way for the age of terrorism, and Serbia's new chance to join Europe, following the election of pro-reform and pro-EU Boris Tadic to the presidency.