This week’s armed attack on a police station in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, has raised questions about whether the use of violence is now seen in the South Caucasus country as an acceptable way to push for reform.
Two days before her 40th birthday, Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova was released from prison on May 25. Questions persist about the Azerbaijani government’s motivation for the release, and whether it portends a loosening of restrictions on civil liberties at home and improved relations with the United States and European Union.
When Ismoil told his parents that he wanted to attend one of Osh’s newly opened madrasahs and become an imam, his parents thought it a bad idea. The year was 1994, and their dusty corner of southern Kyrgyzstan had only a handful of mosques – a legacy of the Soviet Union’s tight control over religion. His parents worried Ismoil would not earn enough to feed himself.
The mercury is rising in Uzbekistan now that spring has arrived, yet the political temperature remains cool in advance of a presidential election March 29. Uzbekistan may suffer from a variety of political, social and economic ills, but election fever has never gripped this Central Asian state.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. asylum applications from Russian nationals have jumped 15 percent for the second straight year, a rise that asylum seekers and attorneys attribute to Russians fleeing their homeland due to fears of persecution and antigay violence.
Tajikistan’s Interior Ministry is cracking down on prostitution, detaining over 500 sex workers during the campaign’s first few days. Activists say detainees are being subjected to blackmailing threats and beatings while in custody.
A raging mob in Tbilisi chased away a downtown rally designed to commemorate the May 17 International Day against Homophobia. “Kill them! Tear them to pieces!” yelled the agitated crowd as police struggled to evacuate a handful of gay-rights supporters from the Georgian capital's central Freedom Square.
Turkey may be seen by many in the Middle East as a democratic role model, but inside the country, government critics assert that improper practices during pre-trial detention reveal a less-than-firm commitment to the rule of law on Ankara’s part.