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Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus

In Georgia, cinema is the latest flashpoint in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights

Months after its release, a film about a gay Georgian dancer continues to inflame heated debates about the place of the LGBTQ+ community in this conservative country.

Freedom of expression in Kazakhstan still a distant prospect, says prosecuted activist

Aynur Ilyashev was prosecuted in connection with his criticism of Kazakhstan's ruling party. The country may have a new president, but thirst for real change is growing, says the activist.

The Uyghur Meshrep: A traditional community gathering censored in China

While Uyghurs have for centuries celebrated male bonding and cultural transmission in a ritual of music and conversations, China is now banning the original concept of the tradition.

Has COVID-19 provoked a crisis of faith in Georgia's Orthodox church?

As the Georgian Orthodox Church continued to hold prayers during lockdown, its critics hint at a new crisis of faith in church-state relations.

Kyrgyzstan's journalists fear yet another hurdle to freedom of speech

Kyrgyzstan's parliament has passed a law against "manipulating information." Given their recent experiences, it's no surprise that the country's journalists worry what it might mean for freedom of speech.

Viktor Tsoi: The undying icon of Soviet dissident rock

Fans of Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi mark his birthday, June 21, remembering his freedom-loving songs that still resonate three decades after his death in 1990.

‘Where is the center of the story?': Revisiting the traditional view of Russia's Muslim communities

Global Voices spoke to academic Danielle Ross about her challenging view of the history of Islam and Islamic reform in Russia.

Afghan migrants continue to die in the hands of Iranian authorities

While millions of Afghans have found refuge in neighboring Iran, some of them also die in the hands of Iranian authorities as they cross the country to reach Europe.

How Kazakhstan's youth are forging their own national identity

A feud between a lesbian activist and a boxer has galvanised a new generation's interest in pushing at the boundaries of Kazakh national identity

Azerbaijan declares strict weekend lockdown after surge in COVID-19 cases

There may be further weekend lockdowns to come, depending on how the country's COVID-19 curve develops in coming days.

Meet the Uzbek activists using apps to connect gay men to HIV testing and care

Since 2016 Uzbekistan has been praised for its liberal reforms, but the LGBTQ+ community has not gained freedom. Those constraints make rights activists particularly resourceful – on- and offline.

In Afghanistan, the war does not spare newborn babies inside maternity wards

When Afghans woke up on the morning of May 12, and found out about two new terrorist attacks, they were reminded that the ongoing war had reached new levels of...

Notes from Kazakhstan: Pigeons, disinfectant and COVID-19

In authoritarian Central Asia, the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for states to make a show of strength of strength, yet it also lays bare their weaknesses.

COVID-19 exposes gaps in services for Azerbaijan’s elderly

Azerbaijanis over 65 are not permitted to leave their homes. Therefore many cannot receive their pensions, buy badly needed medication, or access social support.

Ghost cities in a COVID-19 world

Videos of empty cities from around the world curated by Global Voices' contributors.

Azerbaijanis required to send SMS notification before leaving their homes

The Azerbaijani government has tightened its quarantine restrictions, and now enlists mobile networks to manage public movement.

Kyrgyzstan's civil society mobilises to fight COVID-19

As Kyrgyzstan struggles with the economic fallout of the coronavirus, ordinary citizens are organising on an impressive scale — delivering food to the poor and surgical masks to doctors.

COVID-19 strikes its first victims in Afghanistan

Afghanistan registers its first cases - including deadly ones - of COVID-19.

An interview with Afgan Mukhtarli, abducted Azerbaijani journalist who now walks free

In May 2017 journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was abducted in the Georgian capital Tbilisi and reappeared in a jail cell in Azerbaijan. Recently released, he reflects on his ordeal.

Calculating the hidden costs of breakaway borders in Georgia

The boundaries between breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Georgian government controlled territory are hardening. For locals on both sides of the divide, that brings huge social and economic costs.

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