On a normal Friday, Kara-Suu’s Al-Sarahsiy Mosque is packed with thousands of worshipers from across southern Kyrgyzstan. They come to this town of 20,000 to listen to the sermons of Rashot Kamalov, the mosque’s charismatic imam. Kamalov is respected for criticizing brutal and corrupt officials, society's moral decline and Western pop culture.
Police reforms are ineffective in Central Asia, according to a report released April 11 that evaluates OSCE-sponsored programs which encourage regional law-enforcement agencies to adhere to the rule-of-law.
The recent death of a 24-year-old man in police custody in Armenia is prompting human rights activists to renew calls for an end to police abuse of prisoners. The push by rights activists is causing law-enforcement officials in Yerevan to back-peddle.