Georgia took a quantum leap forward in its democratization process when President Mikheil Saakashvili provided for a smooth transfer of power following his party’s defeat at the ballot box in early October.
The recent travails in Uzbekistan of Russian cellphone giant MTS – hit by employee arrests and a three-month suspension – highlight the perils for foreigners of doing business in Central Asia’s most populous country.
Allegations that a member of Kyrgyzstan's KGB-successor agency organized the brutal rape of his wife have outraged women’s rights activists in Bishkek. But what rights defenders call an ordinary crime is having an extraordinary effect because of the victim’s response: she pressed charges.
Georgia’s first-ever jury trial is scheduled to commence soon in Tbilisi. The reform is meant to increase sagging public confidence in the country’s judicial system, but it also may force Georgians to confront some socially sensitive questions.
Officials are touting new procedures for selecting judges as a significant step toward increasing transparency and promoting the concept of judicial independence in Kyrgyzstan. But, for some civil society activists, the approach is sowing more doubt than confidence in the system.
Can one measure civil society by how people drive? Over the last two months, journalists and human rights activists have called attention to the driving behavior of Tajikistan’s super-wealthy class. Their expressions of concern are an outgrowth of several high-profile incidents involving reckless driving, episodes that are the subject of widespread gossip in Dushanbe.