Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from September, 2012
Azerbaijan: Youth Activist Believed Arrested
Emin Milli's Blog comments on the apparent disappearance of a youth activist in Azerbaijan. The blog says it believes Zaur Gurbanly's believed arrest was because of anti-presidential leaflets that were also confiscated.
Armenia: Government Pressure on NGO
The Washington Post blog features an entry by David Ignatius detailing pressure on an Armenian NGO particularly active online. Founded by former Foreign Minister of Armenia Vartan Oskanian, government pressure on Civilitas is believed linked to his involvement with a former party of power now actively challenging the incumbent president...
Armenia: A New Response to Hate Crime?
Unzipped: Gay Armenia comments on news of an attack on transsexual sex workers in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. The blog notes that not only did the victims report the crime, but that the police formerly accepted it as such while also using ‘acceptable non-discriminatory wording.’ The blog implies that if...
Georgia: A Caucasian Abu Ghraib
Eva Anderson, a Senior Analyst with Transparency International, examines the recent prison abuse video scandal in Georgia as the country prepares for crucial 1 October Parliamentary Elections. The blog post in particular looks at the penitentiary system and the urgent need for reform.
Armenia: Reflections on Homosexuality and Fascism
Unzipped: Gay Armenia reflects on Brotherhood, a 2009 Danish film about homosexuality and fascism, in the context of the neo-Nazi firebombing of D.I.Y., a gay friendly bar in Yerevan, earlier this year.
Tajikistan: Power Plant as a Symbol
Wouldn't this facility, featuring the world's tallest dam, become the most important symbol of our republic? Wouldn't it characterize us, as a state, better than a monument in [the country's capital] Dushanbe or the flag on the world's tallest flagpole?
Kyrgyzstan: Virtual Farming, Real Harvest
You can now grow real organic vegetables and raise livestock online. Caravanistan reports about a new project [ru] in Kyrgyzstan which allows users to purchase a plot of land or an animal on a virtual farm. The proceeds then go to real farmers who do the work and supply the users with vegetables...
Kyrgyzstan: Court Bans Anti-Islam Film
The recent ban on the anti-Islam film 'Innocence of Muslims' in Kyrgyzstan has triggered lively debates among the country's internet users. While some netizens support the ban on the "offensive" video, others argue that restricting access to the film limits their freedom.
Afghans Show Restraint Over Anti-Islam Film
In spite of fears, Afghanistan saw relatively muted protests a result of the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims. On the internet front, YouTube was blocked and Afghan hackers targeted a Christian website.
Georgia: ‘Broom Revolution’ as Elections Approach
Thousands have protested in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, after videos showing physical abuse in the country's prison system aired on some television stations and were shared on YouTube.
Armenia-Azerbaijan: Hatred in the Caucasus
Murad Gassanly, an activist in exile, comments on the case of Ramil Safarov, a soldier convicted of murder in Hungary and recently pardoned in Azerbaijan, by examining how and why ethnic hatred has come to define society in both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan: Political Forces United on Pardoned Axe Murderer
In Mutatione Fortitudo says that the two main opposition parties in Azerbaijan have united behind the government in its criticism of a European Parliament ruling condemning the 31 August pardon, release, and promotion of an Azerbaijani soldier who axed to death a sleeping Armenian counterpart on a NATO Partnership for...
Global Voices Seeks Caucasus Editor
Global Voices is seeking a part-time Editor to oversee our ongoing coverage of citizen media in the Caucasus.
Kazakhstan: Western ‘Meddling’ in Controversial Trial Condemned
Three opposition leaders accused of active participation in the 2011 Zhanaozen violence now stand trial in Kazakhstan. While Western NGO's and journalists condemn the trial as unfair, Kazakhstan's bloggers have little sympathy for the opposition leaders. They support the government's strong-hand approach and criticize what they see as attempts by Western governments and organizations to meddle in Kazakhstan's internal affairs.
Armenia: Homophobic Editor On Air
Unzipped: Gay Armenia says that it is glad the pro-opposition A1+ TV, a station deprived of its broadcasting frequency in 2002, now has a program aired on another channel. However, the blog also notes that it is disappointed to see that a homophobic newspaper editor is involved in its production.
Georgia: Brutality Behind Bars
A video showing prisoners being beaten up in one of Georgia's modernized prisons has been uploaded onto YouTube. Other videos appears to show more graphic incidents with one comment on Facebook hoping that they ‘provide impetus to serious structural reforms’ and that ‘prison personnel are held responsible.’
Armenia: Chess Olympiad Triumph
The Armenian Observer posts photographs of celebrations following Armenia's victory in the 2012 Chess Olympiad held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Armenia: A New Transit Route?
The Armenian Observer reports that construction has started on upgrading Armenia's highways. Effectively connecting Iran with Georgia via Armenia more efficiently, the blog notes the Armenian government's hopes that the road will make the landlocked country an important transit route between Europe and Asia.
Armenia-Azerbaijan: International Day of Peace
Following an increase in tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, locked as they are in a bitter stalemate over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh, Mountains of Peace looks ahead to the International Day of Peace. […] enough is enough. It is time to make a stance, time to speak out,...
Hungary: Armenian Singer Condemns Diplomatic Failure
It seems that to some politicians money means more than the honour of their own country or their relations with other countries. This case could affect the stability of the whole region. Lángoló Gitárok, a Hungarian music blog, has published an interview [hu] with Gaya Arutyunyan, a Hungary-based singer of...
Tajikistan: ‘Blogosphere is a Democracy’
The blogosphere is a democracy. Blogs give anyone and everyone a voice on the World Wide Web. This is a real voice which can be heard all over the world…