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).
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.
Dozens of government critics in Kyrgyzstan were taken into custody on March 23 amid the opening of a meeting to promote national consensus. During the gathering's first day, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev questioned the viability of a "Western system of human rights" in the Central Asian nation.