Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from December, 2009
If the Armenian and Georgian blogospheres attracted most interest during 2008 after one disputed presidential election in the former and an albeit short war with Russia in the latter, Azerbaijan was the undoubted focus in 2009. In particular, youth activists quickly embraced both new and social media to spread their message online.
Ianyan interviews Anush Babajanyan, an Armenian photographer who particularly focuses on issues such as gender in Armenia and the homeless in the country's second largest city, Gyumri.
Ianyan waxes lyrically about its love of pomegranates, a fruit synonymous with many countries in and around the South Caucasus such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.
Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines comments on new charges made against imprisoned journalist Eynulla Fatullayev, 2009 recipient of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) International Press Freedom award. The blog says that some things don't change, but nonetheless encourages its readers to speak out in 2010.
An online project using new and social media to overcome negative stereotypes in the South Caucasus entered a second stage last week when two blogging Azerbaijani journalism students and a Georgian blogger joined in the initiative.
Newly returned to Baku, Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines posts its observations on queuing in Azerbaijan. The blogger is not impressed and in a previous post also laments the state of the medical system in the country.
Sayat Shulembayev, 28, journalist of the news video-portal “Stan” was brutally murdered in Almaty. As “Stan” producer Michael Pak says, Sayat rented a room in the house near bus station. The murderers killed the landlord and the journalist, apparently, to eliminate the possible witness [ru]. The news portal does not...
KZBlog reports that 150 children suffering from leukemia were infected with hepatitis C. This is not the first case when children get infected during blood transfusions in Kazakhstan.
Atyraujournal reports on the plans of the Atyrau Oil Refinery in Western Kazakhstan to upgrade it's facilities and to install aromatics complex by 2013.
Nick Fielding reports that according to the newly released United Nations's survey, opium cultivation in Afghanistan decreased by 22 per cent, while production fell by 10 per cent to 6,900 tons.
Musafirbek writes that two online surveys, held by loyal to the Uzbek government news agency, reveal that people are not interested in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The Tajik government has recently instituted fees for information requests from journalists and the general public. Botur examines how putting a price tag on information will hurt freedom.
Turkmenistan's isolation and autocracy hasn’t stopped the global phenomenon of “urban culture”, especially in the form of Hip Hop. Annasoltan explores how Hip Hop can thrive — or die — in a police state.
Annasoltan writes that drug resistant tuberculosis is a serious problem in Turkmenistan. Yet, the government is doing little to find the solution – even more so, its actions often aggravate the situation.
Alexander_Visotzky reviews the developments in Kazakhstan's uranium industry after arrest of the head of the national nuclear company on charges of embezzlement, and concludes that fight against corruption in Kazakhstan, is more of a political game than it is an attempt to root out corruption.
Peter Marton suggests his readers to compare the costliness of the Afghan vs. the Iraqi campaign, based on the data from several different sources.
GV has already covered a story of the Uzbek documentary photographer Umida Akhmedova, accused of insult and slander against Uzbek people and traditions. This fact caused indignation among local and foreign journalists, photographers and Internet users. At the moment, more than 600 people from various countries signed the online petition...
Daffyd ponders on the speculations about an alleged Taliban proposal that it would sever ties with al Qaeda in return for withdrawal of foreign troops, and says it's seems like a very clever strategic move.
Nathan reports that former head of Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Council Bolot Djanuzakov and Russian political scientist Aleksandr Knyazev were attacked near their homes on December 9. Both have been critical of the Kyrgyz government.
Elina writes that Uzbekistan withdraws from the power grid linking the region in an apparent attempt to put pressure on Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, as Uzbek power supplies both these countries.
Umida Akhmedova, photo by Fergana.ru Umida Akhmedova, the Uzbek [EN] documentary photographer, has been accused of insult and slander against Uzbek people and traditions, reports Fergana.ru [EN]. The maximum penalty for these charges includes remedial work on two up to three years or detention for up to six months. According...