Europe & Central Asia

2005

Alerts   |   Belarus

Prosecutors reopen case of abducted journalist

New York, April 8, 2005—Prosecutors in capital of Minsk, have reopened the inquiry into the July 2000 abduction of Dmitry Zavadsky, a 29-year-old cameraman for the Russian public network ORT, according to the Minsk-based human rights group Charter 97.

Olga Zavadskaya, whose son is presumed dead after disappearing nearly five years ago, received a letter from the prosecutor-general's office yesterday, acknowledging the need to "carry out additional investigations," local reports said. Zavadskaya had filed a formal petition with prosecutors in August 2004 in an effort to reopen the investigation, which had been suspended in March of that year.

April 8, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Uzbekistan

Authorities launch criminal inquiry of Internews

New York, April 6, 2005—The prosecutor-general's office in Uzbekistan said yesterday it was investigating the Tashkent bureau of the media training and advocacy group Internews Network on criminal charges of operating without a license, according to international reports.

Witnesses have been questioned, "but at this stage nobody has been arrested," the prosecutor's spokeswoman, Svetlana Artikova told IRIN, a United Nations-affiliated news agency. Artikova did not provide details of the possible violations, nor did she specify potential penalties.
April 6, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Ukraine

Ukrainian prosecutor claims confessions in Gongadze case

New York, April 5, 2005—Ukraine's prosecutor-general said yesterday that two former police officers arrested in March as suspects in the 2000 murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze have confessed to the killing, according to local and international press reports.

Vyacheslav Astapov, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said the officers were cooperating with investigators in providing details about the crime, The Associated Press reported. The reported confessions are the latest in a series of developments in the high-profile case, which had marred the integrity of the Ukrainian government and justice system.
April 5, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Supreme Court rejects editor's appeal

New York, March 31, 2005—Azerbaijan's Supreme Court has upheld the October 2004 conviction of Rauf Arifoglu, editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Yeni Musavat, on charges of organizing anti-government riots, according to local and international press reports. The criminal conviction was widely considered to have been politically motivated.

"The many irregularities in Rauf Arifoglu's 2004 trial, which have been well-documented, should have raised questions for the Supreme Court," CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. "By failing to address these issues, the court appears indifferent to the interests of fair and impartial justice."
March 31, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Cyprus

European Court faults investigation in case of murdered journalist

New York, March 31, 2005—The European Court for Human Rights ruled today that Turkish authorities did not conduct an effective investigation into the July 1996 murder of journalist Kutlu Adali in Cyprus and ordered the government to pay 20,000 euros (US $26,000) in damages to his wife.

Ilkay Adali sought damages in 1997 from the Turkish government, which maintains effective control over the renegade Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). She claimed that Turkish or TRNC authorities ordered the killing, but the court said there was not enough evidence to conclude that security agents were involved in the murder.
March 31, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Kyrgyzstan

President flees amid unrest, fraud, censorship

New York, March 25, 2005—At least one Kyrgyz journalist was hospitalized with injuries and another arrested as police tried to break up the escalating unrest that prompted President Askar Akayev to flee the country this week. The demonstrations, which toppled yet another authoritarian regime in Central Asia, came amid widespread anger over fraud-marred parliamentary elections—and weeks of government censorship, harassment, and obstruction of the press.
March 25, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

Foreign Ministry accuses Swedish media of fomenting violence

New York, March 24, 2005—The Russian Foreign Ministry has strongly criticized Swedish authorities and media for independent news reporting on the conflict in Chechnya, claiming the information was fomenting violence, according to local and international press reports.

The Russian embassy in Stockholm criticized the independent Swedish news agency TT on Wednesday for publishing an interview with Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev on March 21. It claimed the agency was partly responsible for a Russian diplomat's car being set ablaze the next day.
March 25, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

Court reduces financial penalty against independent daily

New York, March 24, 2005—An appeals court yesterday reduced the massive damages levied against the independent Moscow daily Kommersant in what a newspaper lawyer called a "tactical victory" in its ongoing legal battle over its reporting on last summer's banking crisis.

Moscow's Federal Arbitration Court upheld the finding of liability but reduced the damages to 40.5 million rubles (US$1.46 million)—about one-eighth the original award, according to local and international press reports.
March 24, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Case   |   Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZSTAN

MARCH 23, 2005
Posted: March 28, 2005

Azamat Kalman, Journalists Trade Union
ATTACKED

Kalman, head of the country's independent Journalists Trade Union, suffered two broken legs while covering the escalating unrest that prompted President Askar Akayev to flee the country.
March 23, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

After outcry, president pardons imprisoned opposition editor

New York, March 21, 2005—Facing international pressure, President Ilham Aliyev pardoned the imprisoned editor of an opposition newspaper yesterday as part of a decree ordering the release of dozens of political prisoners, according to local and international press reports.

Rauf Arifoglu, editor-in-chief of Yeni Musavat, had been jailed for 17 months after his arrest during the unrest that followed Aliyev's disputed 2003 election. Aliyev has come under sustained criticism from human rights and press freedom groups, which charged that the government has used widespread imprisonment to silence its critics.
March 21, 2005 12:00 PM ET

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2005

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