Monday 16 May 2005
May 16, 2005
Central Asia: AIDS Project Seeks To Avert Epidemic
There are an estimated 500,000 drug users in Central Asia The World Bank has announced a $27-million program to help four Central Asian countries prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Health experts are worried that the region is ripe for an explosion of the disease, due mainly to the rising number of intravenous drug users. A World Bank official who managed the AIDS project for Central Asia says that the initiative, if handled properly, could end the threat of an epidemic in five years and provide a template for regional cooperation on other issues.
May 10, 2005
Central Asia: Specialist Record Companies Introducing Region's Music To Wider Audience
Central Asian music is still relatively unknown in the West. It's also not widely available, unless you know where to look. But a number of small, specialist record labels are doing their best to bring the music to a wider audience.
May 09, 2005
World War II -- 60 Years After: For Some Central Asians, 'Great Patriotic War' Is More Controversial Than Ever
The 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany is a time for celebration -- but also for controversy. The participation of some Central Asian leaders in Moscow's Victory Day celebrations might indicate that they are backing down from their traditional reluctance to honor the Great Patriotic War. Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov's and Uzbek President Islam Karimov's trips to Moscow are seen as significant because they mark the first time those two have officially acknowledged the holiday.
May 04, 2005
Tajik Opposition Party Leaves Presidential Body
Tajik President Rakhmonov (file photo) Dushanbe, 4 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Tajikistan's Islamic Revival Party has suspended its membership in the country's presidential Public Council in protest over undemocratic conditions in the country's recent parliamentary elections, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reported.
May 03, 2005
Central Asia: Influence of Internet Grows (Part 2)
Today is the UN-declared World Press Freedom Day, an annual observance meant to highlight the importance of a free press for civil societies. In the second-part of a two-part series, RFE/RL looks at press freedom in Central Asia. There, governments have often resorted to "hidden" forms of censorship -- such as restricting news organizations' access to printing houses or broadcast frequencies -- to keep dissenting voices from being heard. But journalists and activists are finding new ways to get their messages heard, including by turning to the Internet. The Internet is still far from being a mass medium in Central Asia but it is becoming an increasingly influential forum for exchanging news and opinions.
May 03, 2005
Central Asia: Media Watchdogs Say Media Far From Free (Part 1)
Uzbek President Islam Karimov Today is the UN-declared World Press Freedom Day, an annual observance meant to highlight the importance of a free press for civil societies. In the first-part of a two-part series, we look at press freedom in Central Asia. The international media-rights group Reporters Sans Frontieres this week listed Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan among the top oppressors of media freedoms last year. Fellow media-watchdog Freedom House went a step further in its annual report, characterizing those two countries as the "worst of the worst" and labeling the remaining Central Asian states as "not free." Kyrgyzstan, however, appears to be using the momentum of its recent revolution to turn things around.
April 29, 2005
World: Was Soviet Collapse Last Century's Worst Geopolitical Catastrophe?
Putin (in file photo) called the USSR's breakup the "biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century" In his state-of-the-nation address on 25 April, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised the West by calling the Soviet Union's collapse the "biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." His declaration, however, has caused little stir at home. Political analysts view the Russian president's comments as simply an attempt to lift his declining popularity rating among the elderly.
April 27, 2005
Tajikistan: Opposition Leader Brought Home To Face Charges, Ex-Interior Minister Imprisoned For 15 Years
After nearly two weeks, the mystery of the whereabouts of the leader of the Tajikistan Democratic Party, Mahmudruzi Iskandarov, was solved yesterday as Dushanbe announced he has been brought back to Tajikistan under arrest. The future location of another well-known figure in Tajikistan, former Interior Minister Yakub Salimov, also became clear yesterday: He will likely be in a Tajik prison for the next 15 years.
April 26, 2005
'Missing' Tajik Opposition Leader Reportedly Arrested
Dushanbe, 26 April 2005 (RFE/RL) --Tajikistan's prosecutor-general, Bobojhon Bobokhonov, announced today that Tajik security services have taken custody of Makhmadruzi Iskandarov, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Tajikistan.
April 23, 2005
World: OSCE Debates Its Election Monitoring
The OSCE -- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe -- has come under sharp criticism from Russia on the criteria it uses and conclusions it reaches in monitoring elections. Russia charges that the process is politically weighted. Leaders of the organization have just completed a two-day review in Vienna. Debate was lively but few minds appear to have been changed about the way the OSCE decides whether elections are fair and democratic.