Protestors in the northwestern Kyrgyz town of Talas stormed a government building and took the governor hostage on April 6, eyewitnesses told EurasiaNet.org. Some reports say protesters attempted to appoint their own governor.
Days after Kyrgyz authorities closed two more independent media outlets, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly rebuked President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's human rights record. During Ban's short visit to Bishkek, demonstrators clashed with police outside the UN office and later in front of parliament, demanding the government stop harassing the press.
The jailing in Kazakhstan of an opposition leader on charges of holding an unsanctioned rally is stoking fresh concerns over the fairness of the judicial system in the country currently chairing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Activists are criticizing draft legislation that would expand the Kyrgyz government's ability to monitor telephone calls and email.
Parliament adopted amendments to the laws, "On Operative Investigation Activities" and "On the Electronic and Postal Services," on March 25. The changes now await President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's signature before they become law.
Two years after Yerevan signed an international agreement to uphold the civil rights of gays, homosexuals in Armenia still face the constant threat of physical abuse and social isolation because of their sexual orientation.
"When my parents learned that I was homosexual, they first beat me and then kicked me out," Armen, a 22-year-old Yerevan resident who works as a teacher, told Euras
First soccer, now films. A Turkish film festival in Yerevan is being billed as an attempt by Armenia to encourage the normalization of relations with Turkey, despite the recent stalemate in diplomatic dialogue.
The cinema sits on the spot where the Sts. Peter and Paul Church once stood. The church, which was said to be the largest and grandest in Yerevan, was destroyed by Soviet authorities in the 1930s. Armenian officials issued a decree in late February to demolish the theater and reconstruct the church.
Norouz, the Kurdish New Year, has long been associated with friction, political demonstrations and even violent rallies in support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement that is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and Turkish government.