Saturday 1 January 2005
November 30, 2004
Central Asia: Attitudes, Abuse Contribute To Spread Of AIDS (Part 3)
People around the world with HIV/AIDS are often treated as social outcasts, deprived of human dignity as they battle not only the disease, but also religious, social, and cultural stigma. In Central Asia, however, the challenges are often even tougher for those with HIV/AIDS. In some countries, prejudice is actually contributing to the spread of the disease. And reports of abuse are widespread. For example, prisoners in Uzbekistan have reportedly been threatened with injections of the HIV virus for misbehavior. In the third of a four-part series on AIDS in Central Asia, RFE/RL looks at the attitudes of government and religious officials, as well as society in general, to the disease.
November 30, 2004
Central Asia: A Silent Killer Threatens The Region (Part 1)
Over the past two years, HIV/AIDS infections have increased by 40 percent in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. According to a new United Nations report released in conjunction with World AIDS Day on 1 December, around 1.4 million people in that region live with AIDS or the virus that causes it. Worst affected are Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic states. But in the first of a four-part series on AIDS in Central Asia, RFE/RL examines the early stages of what could become a regional HIV/AIDS epidemic.
November 26, 2004
Uzbek, Kyrgyz Presidents Congratulate Yanukovych
26 November 2004 -- The presidents of the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have joined Russian President Vladimir Putin in congratulating Viktor Yanukovych on winning Ukraine's still-disputed presidential election.
November 24, 2004
Central Asia: Women’s Rights Groups Fight Gender Violence
Tajik women Gender violence is present in every country of the world. But in some conservative societies of inner Asia, it has not even been considered an issue until recently and remains a taboo subject for public discussion. It is not only men committing acts of violence against women. In many cases in these traditional societies, it is older female relatives that are the tormenters. As women’s rights groups across much of Eurasia on 25 November observe an annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, RFE/RL looks at some of the people working to change local opinions about violence against women.
November 23, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Human Rights Activist Missing For One Week
Kyrgyz human rights defender and political activist Tursunbek Akun has now been missing for one week. Akun left his home in Bishkek on 16 November, telling his wife Gulia that the National Security Service (SNB) wished to speak with him. Akun has not been heard from since and his friends and fellow activists are blaming the country's security service for Akun's disappearance. The security service has said it has no information about Akun and claims it would not be in the government's interest to harm Akun.
November 17, 2004
Central Asia: Russia Comes On Strong (Part 2)
Vladimir Putin Russia emerged as a major investor in Central Asia in October. Images of Russia as an economically challenged former superpower faded as President Vladimir Putin and Russian companies visited the area making new deals in the region's energy sector. But Russian gains in Central Asia in October weren't confined solely to investment. In this second of a two-part report, RFE/RL takes a closer look at Russia's moves on Central Asia last month.
November 17, 2004
Central Asia: Russia Comes On Strong (Part 1)
October was a significant month for Russia in terms of its interests in Central Asia. In the years following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia was relegated to helping the region primarily on issues of security. Few considered Moscow to have the financial means to become a major investor in the region. But that has changed. Russian President Vladimir Putin's government now appears to be using the lure of money to bring its former Soviet republics back into its fold. In a two-part series, RFE/RL looks at Russia's recent moves in Central Asia.
November 09, 2004
East: EBRD Report Finds Former Soviet Oil Economies Booming
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) this week confirmed what many in Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia had already suspected -- their economies are booming. In its annual Transition Report, released yesterday, the bank said higher oil and other commodity prices are fueling skyrocketing annual growth for many countries. In fact, the former Soviet Union is now the world's second-fastest-growing region in the world -- behind only China and neighboring countries in Asia. But the high prices won't last forever.
November 04, 2004
Central Asia: Enclave Residents Face Numerous Hurdles
Enclaves are usually small areas of land that belong to one country but actually lie within the borders of another nation. As living in an enclave generally involves many inconveniences, some countries have favored their elimination. For instance, Lithuania gave its Pagiriai enclave to Belarus in the mid-1990s after Minsk agreed to compensate Vilnius with territory adjacent to the Lithuanian border. Many other enclaves still exist, however, partcularly in South and Central Asia. RFE/RL takes a look at the difficulties residents of an Indian and a Kyrgyz enclave are facing in their everyday life.
November 03, 2004
World: Sampling Of Reaction To U.S. Vote Shows Cautious Optimism
In opinion polls before the 2 November vote in the United States, citizens of countries from Canada to South Korea -- with the notable exceptions of Russia and Israel -- declared an overwhelming preference for Democratic Senator John Kerry to win the U.S. presidential election over Republican incumbent George W. Bush. But as the time neared for declaring an actual winner, international figures and people on the streets displayed a cautious optimism. RFE/RL collects a sampling of various opinions from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and around the world.
October 29, 2004
Kyrgyzstan: Muslim Clerics Help Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness
Kyrgyz organizations are increasingly joining forces to achieve progress in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Earlier this year, the Kyrgyz Football Federation began an HIV/AIDS and drug-abuse prevention campaign among thousands of young soccer players. RFE/RL reports on another unique campaign against HIV/AIDS in the republic, this time involving local Muslim clergy.