Tuesday 1 June 2004
May 27, 2004
Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Bound By More Than Geography
Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev is wrapping up a two-day visit to Tajikistan today. While a number of bilateral agreements have been signed, Akaev's visit has also succeeded in reminding observers that these two Central Asian nations share many geographical, historical, and political similarities.
May 25, 2004
Western Press Review: Bush's Iraq Speech, Keeping The Faith In Afghanistan, And The Fractious Tajik Opposition
Prague, 25 May 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Much of the media's attention today is focused on U.S. President George W. Bush's speech last night on his administration's plans for stabilizing Iraq. Several commentators fault the U.S. president for failing to lay out a viable strategy for ensuring a smooth transition to a legitimate interim government in Baghdad by 30 June. A discussion of the conflict in Afghanistan calls it the war the world forgot, while others call for U.S.-Iranian cooperation in Iraq and lament the lack of cohesion among the Tajik opposition.
May 18, 2004
World: U.S. State Department Issues Report Examining Government Record On Promoting Rights
The United States says advancing human rights and democracy around the world reflects its values and promotes its interests. The recent scandal involving U.S. troop abuse of detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghurayb prison has been a blow to Washington's image as a human rights standard-bearer. A report issued yesterday by the U.S. State Department paints a mixed picture of the work the U.S. government is doing to promote democracy and human rights in Iraq and elsewhere.
May 14, 2004
Central Asia: Disappointment And Anger As Prison Scandal Cuts Into America's Democratic Image.
By now, the disturbing photographs documenting U.S. prisoner abuse in Iraq have been seen in nearly all corners of the Earth. In Central Asia, the scandal has drawn virtually no official response from governments reliant on U.S. aid and loathe to draw attention to their own human rights records. But many citizens in the region are angry about the treatment of the Iraqi detainees -- and disappointed that a human rights standard-bearer like the United States could stoop to torture and abuse.
May 07, 2004
Tajikistan: Small Jewish Community Fighting To Save Its Synagogue
The last synagogue in the Tajik capital Dushanbe is scheduled for demolition as part of an urban-renewal project in the district where it is located. The Jewish community in Tajikistan is small, but its ties to the region stretch back centuries. Its members are trying to convince the government to hold off on the synagogue's destruction, at least until a replacement can be built.
May 07, 2004
Tajikistan: Heroin Busts Tie Russian Military To Drug Trade
For years, the Russian military has patrolled the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, one of the world's major drug-smuggling routes. Recently the troops' main job has been to stem the flow of Afghan heroin that is smuggled across the border on its way to Russia and Western markets. Now the reported arrests of two Russian border guards with heroin has once again raised questions about the involvement of the Russian military -- at a time when Tajikistan is looking to gradually assume command of the border service.
May 06, 2004
Tajikistan: Tajiks To Replace Russian Border Guards On Afghan Border
Tajik and Russian border services are exploring new forms of cooperation to guard the Tajik-Afghan border -- the crucial first frontier in illicit drug-smuggling routes that carry opium and heroin from Afghanistan through Central Asia and on to Russia and Europe.
May 03, 2004
Central Asia: Report Says Journalists' Work Difficult And Dangerous
The Paris-based media-monitoring group Reporters Without Borders has issued a report pointing to the grim state of media freedoms in Central Asia. Death, torture, censorship -- all are part of the journalist's lot in that part of the world. RFE/RL looks at the report, which was issued to coincide with World Press Freedom Day.
April 27, 2004
Central Asia: Is Uzbekistan The Source Of Regional Extremism?
aftermath of bomb blast in Tashkent Mounting concerns about extremism in Central Asia are focusing increasingly on Uzbekistan -- the country where most extremist acts are committed. RFE/RL reports on possible explanations for Uzbekistan's rising role as the hub of Central Asian terrorism.
April 22, 2004
Tajikistan: Human Trafficking A Growing Concern
Central Asia is becoming a major region of origin for human trafficking. Thousands of young women are either abducted or lured away from the country every year and sold into the sex trade. The problem is of particular concern in Tajikistan, which is still struggling to recover from a five-year civil war that has left many people desperate to find economic prospects abroad.