Seven years ago Aijan was walking home from her waitressing job in central Bishkek with two girlfriends. They did not notice the three men following them. As two men tackled the other women, one dragged Aijan, 21 at the time, into a waiting car.
Amid a growing awareness of Western-style civil rights in Georgia, journalists are wrestling with a thorny question: where is the line between reporting and social activism? A recent tussle in the Georgian capital Tbilisi between police and protesters illustrates the trouble that many have in answering.
Uzbekistan’s energy sector is sputtering, and blackouts are becoming more common in the Central Asian nation. To help keep popular discontent in check, Islam Karimov, the country’s strongman president, has come up with an ambitious renewable energy program.
With the 2014 deadline fast approaching for the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, American and European politicians and analysts are busy trying to resolve pressing state-building issues. When it comes to ensuring security, policymakers should not forget about higher education in Afghanistan.
Later this May, European Union officials will meet a delegation from Turkmenistan during annual human rights consultations. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s authoritarian regime in Ashgabat is one of the most repressive in the world, yet the meeting poses perhaps the biggest test for the EU side.
An authoritative Central Asia-focused news website has defeated attempts to silence it in Kyrgyzstan: authorities have unblocked it. Yet under the prevailing interpretation of a parliamentary resolution, the website, Fergana News, still appears to be banned in the Central Asian nation.
When the topics of conversation turn to Turkey and Islam, tempers can sometimes flare in the South Caucasus country of Georgia. Even so, a movement founded by the charismatic Turkish theologian Fetullah Gϋlen has found a welcoming community in this emphatically Christian country.
If a post-Communist record-book were kept of political protests in formerly Soviet states, Armenia could easily rank near the top. But, after years of demonstrations under various politicians, how long will Armenians keep rallying without results?
In the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains in southeastern Kazakhstan, a falcon perches in a tree. Its eyes dart to and fro, all senses on alert. Suddenly it swoops, snapping up some prey and soars off.