Europe & Central Asia


Attacks on the Press   |   Tajikistan

Attacks on the Press 2004: Tajikistan


President Imomali Rakhmonov consolidated his authoritarian rule in 2004, arresting political opponents and cracking down on opposition newspapers. Authorities employed bureaucratic and legal harassment in a broad campaign to silence criticism of the president and his allies ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for February 2005.
March 14, 2005 11:09 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Turkey

Attacks on the Press 2004: Turkey


The European Union's long-awaited decision in December to begin formal talks to admit Turkey would have been impossible without legislative reforms made in recent years, including several aimed at expanding freedom of expression.

A new Penal Code set to take effect in 2005 codifies a number of recent press reforms. Notably, it limits the definition of "inciting hatred" to cases in which the exercise of free expression poses a "clear and present danger." Prison penalties for "insulting" state institutions were reduced, and the law now requires proof of intent for conviction. A new press law adopted in June abolishes authorities' power to suspend publications, lifts prison penalties for certain press offenses, and strengthens protection for confidential sources.
March 14, 2005 11:05 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Turkmenistan

Attacks on the Press 2004: Turkmenistan


Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan's self-proclaimed president for life, continued on the path of international isolation and ironfisted dictatorial rule. State control over the country's abundant natural gas reserves provided Niyazov with the financial independence to ignore international opinion, repress dissident voices, and intensify his cult of personality. In 2004, the government particularly targeted the U.S. government–funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)—one of the country's few independent-minded sources of domestic news—by harassing and detaining its reporters.
March 14, 2005 11:04 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Ukraine

Attacks on the Press 2004: Ukraine


Throughout 2004, Ukraine's authoritarian President Leonid Kuchma carefully groomed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to succeed him when his second term expired at the end of the year. Relying on pro-government television stations, an obedient Central Elections Commission (CEC), and support from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kuchma attempted to orchestrate a transfer of power that would have allowed him to remain politically active and avoid accountability for abuses in office.
March 14, 2005 11:02 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Uzbekistan

Attacks on the Press 2004: Uzbekistan


Uzbekistan's stagnant economy and Soviet-style dictatorship continued to fuel popular discontent in 2004, and President Islam Karimov brutally suppressed dissenters to -maintain his control of the country. Karimov stonewalled U.S. and Western pressure for reforms throughout the year, cultivating his image as an American ally in the "war on -terror" and calculating that the Bush administration was more focused on retaining access to a local military air base than on human rights abuses.

Alerts   |   Ukraine

Ukrainian prosecutors report progress in the Gongadze case

New York, March 11, 2005—The questioning of Ukraine's former president and negotiations to obtain a potentially key tape recording capped a week of developments in the Ukrainian government's investigation into the September 2000 abduction and murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze. The once-dormant investigation, given life when President Viktor Yushchenko took office this year, also netted formal charges against two Interior Ministry officers this week, according to local and international press reports.
March 11, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Russia

Supreme Court examines complaints in Kholodov murder case

New York, March 10, 2005—The Military Collegium of Russia's Supreme Court today opened hearings to examine complaints filed by the Prosecutor General's Office and the parents of Dmitry Kholodov, a slain reporter for the Moscow-based independent newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, according to local press reports.

Kholodov was murdered in October 1994 after criticizing then Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. Two separate trials failed to lead to convictions for a group of suspects, and the statute of limitation in the case expired in October 2004.
March 10, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Letters   |   Russia

CPJ seeks to halt intimidation in Chechnya

Your Excellency: The Committee to Protect Journalists is extremely concerned about an ongoing campaign by the Federal Security Service (FSB) and prosecutors to intimidate and obstruct the work of independent journalists reporting on the ongoing war in and around the southern republic of Chechnya.

March 4, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Ukraine

Former Ukrainian minister implicated in Gongadze case is found dead

New York, March 4, 2005—Former Interior Minister Yuri Kravchenko was found dead this morning outside the capitol of Kyiv just hours before he was to be questioned by prosecutors about the September 2000 abduction and murder of Internet journalist Georgy Gongadze, according to local and international press reports.
March 4, 2005 12:00 PM ET


Case   |   Azerbaijan


MARCH 2, 2005
Posted: March 7, 2005

Elmar Huseynov, Monitor,


Huseynov, the founder and editor of the opposition weekly news magazine Monitor, was gunned down in his apartment building in the capital, Baku.
March 2, 2005 12:00 PM ET



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