Monday 21 June 2004
June 21, 2004
Archive: The End Of The Aral Sea
A new report by the UN Economic Commission for Europe says that the Aral Sea, formerly the world's fourth-largest inland body of water, is on the verge of disappearing if urgent measures are not implemented. The sea's woes go back to the 1950-60s planned Soviet economy, when huge amounts of water were diverted for cotton irrigation. But in the last decade its situation has become desperate -- the Aral Sea receives only a tenth of the water it once did and has shrunk to half its original size. The report urges the five Central Asian states to cooperate to save the body of water.
June 18, 2004
Central Asia: Uzbek Family Finds Itself Suddenly Straddling Turkmen Border
A joint Turkmen-Uzbek commission recently finished demarcating the two countries' northern border. The agreement clarifies what was previously a poorly marked area. But it may not satisfy all the residents of the border region. RFE/RL looks at one family that finds itself suddenly divided.
June 17, 2004
World: Desertification Threatens One-Fifth Of Global Population
Today marks the United Nations' annual World Day to Combat Desertification -- a process by which fertile land gradually turns into desert. One-fifth of the world's population is currently threatened by the impact of desertification in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and even parts of southern Europe.
June 17, 2004
Russia/Uzbekistan: Presidents Sign Strategic-Partnership Agreement
Ahead of today's meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tashkent, the Uzbek and Russian presidents have signed a treaty of strategic partnership. The document is a significant step in the rapprochement the two countries have undertaken in the past months.
June 15, 2004
China/Uzbekistan: Leaders Look To Strengthen Security Ties, Boost Trade
Chinese President Hu Jintao is in Uzbekistan for economic and security talks with President Islam Karimov. Ample opportunities for greater cooperation between the two countries appear to exist in the security sphere, while the outlook for trade is less certain.
June 14, 2004
Pakistan: Al-Qaeda Suspects With Links To Uzbek Militants Arrested
Pakistan says it has arrested a leading Al-Qaeda member along with at least eight foreign militants -- including some from Central Asia. Their previously unknown extremist group is being linked to Uzbek militants near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
June 08, 2004
Turkey: Fethullahci Schools -- A Greenhouse For Central Asian Elites?
The Nur ("light" in Turkish) movement is generally considered one of the most important Islamic reformist currents to have appeared in Turkey in the past century. One of this movement's subcommunities, founded by religious thinker Fethullah Gulen, seeks to breed a "new generation" of socially integrated Muslim believers who will eventually achieve high government positions. The collapse of the Soviet Union offered the Gulen community -- which is one of Turkey's most powerful socio-religious movements -- a unique opportunity to expand abroad, notably in Central Asia. RFE/RL correspondent Jean-Christophe Peuch reports in this second of a two-part series.
June 03, 2004
Tajikistan: Parliament Follows Regional Trend By Adopting Moratorium On Death Penalty
Tajikistan's lower house of parliament yesterday adopted a moratorium on the death penalty. The move is part of a broader trend in Central Asia toward the abolition of the death penalty. The Tajik moratorium leaves Uzbekistan as the only republic in the region that continues to carry out executions.
June 02, 2004
Uzbekistan: Human Rights Watch Acknowledges Erroneous Torture Allegation
Prague, 2 June 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Human Rights Watch (HRW) has acknowledged its error in attributing the cause of an Uzbek prisoner's death to police torture, after a team of international experts concluded that he had hanged himself.