Category تگزاس نیوز

Majlis Podcast: The Death Of Azimjan Askarov And The Fates Of Other Political Prisoners In Central Asia

On July 25, rights defender Azimjan Askarov died in a prison in Kyrgyzstan.

Askarov had been in custody for 10 years, despite appeals from international and domestic rights organizations, the UN Human Rights Committee, the European Union, and individual governments who all pointed out violations of Askarov’s rights from the time he was detained until his death.

The official cause of Askarov’s death was respiratory problems, but his lawyer said Askarov was exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 before his death.

There has been widespread outrage over Askarov’s death and calls for those responsible for his arrest, conviction, and imprisonment to be held responsible for their actions.

On this week’s Majlis podcast, RFE/RL’s media-relations manager for South and Central Asia, Muhammad Tahir,...

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Pompeo Says U.S. Firms ‘Becoming Aware’ Of Abuses In Xinjiang, Warns China On Iran Deal

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said American companies are “becoming aware” of human rights abuses in the Chinese province of Xinjiang as he reiterated his call for them to reconsider doing business there.

During an interview with Fox News on August 2, he also said that the United States would soon take action against Chinese software companies and warned a Chinese trade deal with Iran would “destabilize” the Middle East.

Pompeo told Fox that Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), which was sanctioned on July 31 by the Treasury Department, had “deep connectivity” to Western businesses, including U.S. companies. Pompeo said XPCC was involved in cotton production.

“I don’t think companies — some brand names here in America — want to be connected to what is t...

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Belarusian Presidential Candidate Tsikhanouskaya Says She Is Against Integration With Russia

Belarusian presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya said she is against forming a union state with Russia but called for maintaining good relations with Moscow.

Tsikhanouskaya, an English translator who joined the presidential race after her husband, Syarhey Tsikhanouski, a popular vlogger, was arrested, made the comments in a lengthy interview published by the Russian news agency Lenta.Ru.

“Personally, I am against deeper integration with Russia because Belarus is a sovereign nation. We want to be independent. We want to find friends and not enemies among other countries,” she said.

However, when asked if the country should instead seek to join the European Union or move closer to the West, she said it was a false choice.

“Is it really necessary to choose?” she said, addi...

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Afghan Prison Attack Leaves Several Dead, Dozens Injured

An attack on a prison in Afghanistan has left several people dead and dozens wounded as violence continues unabated in the war-torn nation.

Assailants on August 2 set off a car bomb outside a prison in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar and then proceeded to storm it, officials said.

The gunmen exchanged fire as they entered the prison and a number of nearby buildings in the provincial capital, Jalalabad.

At least three people were killed and 24 wounded, according to the AP. Some prisoners may have escaped. The fighting is ongoing, so the number of casualties could increase, officials said.

The Taliban and the local affiliate of the Islamic State group are active in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban denied responsibility.

The attack occurred one day after Afghan special forces a...

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Russian Protesters Continue Marching To Support Sacked Governor

It was Day 23 on August 2 of ongoing demonstrations in support of dismissed Khabarovsk regional Governor Sergei Furgal. The protesters gathered outside the regional administration building in the Russian Far East city, chanting Furgal’s surname and the slogan, “We will come tomorrow.” Furgal was arrested on July 9 and transferred to Moscow, pending trial on charges of attempted murder and ordering the killing of two local businessmen in 2004-5. Two years ago, Furgal unexpectedly won local elections against a Moscow-backed candidate, and his supporters believe the charges are a political setup.

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Belarusian President Lukashenka To Address Nation Days Before Toughest Reelection Bid

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will deliver his state of the union address on August 4, just days before his toughest reelection bid since coming to power more than a quarter century ago.

Lukashenka will deliver his address in parliament after its two chambers meet a day earlier to discuss key national issues, his press spokeswoman Natalya Eismont said.

The president was initially scheduled to deliver his address in parliament in April but postponed it amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week, as political opponents mounted a growing challenge to his long rule, Lukashenka called an extraordinary meeting of parliament for August 3.

Belarus will hold presidential elections on August 9.

Lukashenka has ruled Belarus since 1994 but opposition to a sixth term has been growing...

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Exiled Lukashenka Challenger Said To Leave Moscow For Kyiv

A critic of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka who last month fled the country along with his children after his and others’ candidacies were rejected for next week’s presidential election has reportedly left Russia for neighboring Ukraine.

A spokesman for Valer Tsapkala said on August 2 that the 55-year-old politician and founder of a prominent high-tech park in Minsk — who was seen by some as a serious challenger to the 26-year incumbent Lukashenka — was on his way from Moscow to Kyiv.

The spokesman, Alyaksey Urban, did not provide details or say why Tsapkala, who fled amid rumors of his imminent arrest, preferred the Ukrainian capital to Russia.

The announcement comes seven days before Belarus’s August 9 vote, which has already been marred by dubious disqualifications and an u...

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COVID-19: Iran Sees Most New Infections In Nearly A Month

The global death toll from the coronavirus is almost 685,500, with nearly 18 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.

Here’s a roundup of COVID-19 developments in RFE/RL’s broadcast regions.


Iranian officials said on August 2 that the latest one-day rise in confirmed coronavirus infections there was the highest in nearly a month.

Home to the Middle East’s worst COVID-19 outbreak after the pathogen emerged in central China late last year, Iran has seen a gradual return of cases in the holy city of Qom and other population centers that were hard hit in the initial stages of the pandemic.

AFP quoted Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari as saying 2,685 people had tested positive for the ...

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Russian Vaccine Developer Further Tempers Official’s Claim Of October Rollout

Researchers behind one of two Russian candidate vaccines against the coronavirus undergoing the approval process in that country say they plan to launch production in November, raising further questions about official Russian pledges to have a vaccination campaign well under way before then.

The director-general of the Vektor State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, Rinat Maksyutov, predicted on August 2 that his institution would start manufacturing a vaccine in November.

“We expect to start production already in November this year,” Maksyutov told Rossiya-1 TV’s Vesti program, according to TASS...

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Letters From Labor Camp: Dying Messages From A ‘Traitorous’ Mother In Soviet Exile

“You do not care that your mother lives among strangers in the depths of Siberia, among rocky mountains and terrifying gusting winds, left to die without any help, hungry and cold….”

At the age of 76, Jozefa Bujdo was paying the consequences of marrying a Russian and having a son who entered the Polish police force.

Arrested as the “parent of a traitor” by the occupying Soviet authorities in April 1940, Jozefa boarded a converted cattle car in territory absorbed by the Byelorussian S.S.R. and headed 2,500 kilometers east to serve out her sentence of corrective labor on the Kazakh steppe.

Jozefa Bujdo

Jozefa Bujdo

The mother of six was the only one in her family to make the trip, which came seven months after the Soviets invaded her native Poland as part of a secret pact with Nazi German...

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