The PDF version is available at http://www.rferl.org/reviews/
The Best of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reporting
January 14-27, 2006
RADIO FREE IRAQ TALKS TO JUDGE BEFORE RESIGNATION...
RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq is following closely the personas, dramas and
delays in the trial of Saddam Hussein and other defendants.
After rumors that presiding Judge Rizgar Muhammad Amin may resign,
RFI broadcaster Diar Bamrni contacted him to ask about the role of the
panel of judges and the rules and procedures in the courtroom (text and
link to audio of the interview available at
the interview aired January 16, Amin declined to discuss his pending
resignation, but spoke about the complex court arrangements and
responsibilities of separate panels and councils of judges and special
investigative judges involved in the trial. He said that the High
Criminal Court relies heavily on laws used by international tribunals
for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as the Iraqi Criminal Code of
Asked about the latitude he gave defendants in attacking witnesses
and the court itself, Amin said this is not unusual in Iraqi courts.
"If people could only see and hear what really happens inside the
courtroom -- the exchange of insults, the swearing, the arguments,"
Amin said, adding that emotions usually run high at a trial and he is
surprised at the way "these issues have been blown up and exaggerated
in Saddam Hussein's trial.
Amin noted that "the trial is proceeding in a neutral and fair
way," and there is no need to transfer to another venue. He also
rejected the suggestion of government pressure, emphasizing that he
experienced no direct interference. "I believe I have been conducting
my work impartially and independently," Amin told RFE/RL.
...REPORTS AGREEMENT ON KURDISTAN GOVERNMENT...
Kurdish leaders signed a long-awaited agreement on January 21 to
jointly administer the Kurdistan regional government, with the two
ruling parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic
Union of Kurdistan (PUK) each taking 11 ministerial posts.
RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq interviewed Kurdistan National Assembly
speaker Adnan Mufti and Iraqi Minister of Planning and Reconstruction
Barham Salih (both PUK members) in Irbil about the agreement and what
it means for the future of Kurdistan. In the interview, broadcast
January 22, Mufti said the most important thing is that the government
unification provides for new ministries. He said "an extraordinary
meeting of the parliament will be called to appoint the prime minister
and the deputy prime minister of the unified government. Thereafter, we
will ask the president of the region to entrust them both with setting
up the cabinet. They will have to announce and present the [cabinet] to
the parliament within a definite period."
Salih made a plea for genuine national unity, saying "in the
present conditions, we need to gather and unite on a nationwide
democratic project that will preserve our basic demands for this
period. These basic demands consist in building a federal democratic
Iraq that will be friendly to its own people and to its neighbors."
...INTERVIEWS MINORITY PARTY LEADERS...
RFI's correspondent in Irbil interviewed Kurdish parliamentarians
representing minority parties in that city to ask their views on the
government unification agreement. A program broadcast January 24
included interviews with half a dozen party leaders, several of whom
were critical and skeptical about power-sharing.
Kurdistan Islamic Group representative Huzan Sa'id said this is a
transitional period and that he expected his party to get some
ministerial posts. Kurdistan Islamic Union representative Muhammad
Rashid Mawati said the agreement favors the two dominant parties, the
KDP and PUK: "Look at the distribution of ministerial posts -- as if
they were divided only between the two parties. It is nothing more that
the 50-50 sharing in the previous [unified Kurdish government that
existed until 1994]."
...FOLLOWS KURDISH DEFAMATION CASE
Radio Free Iraq correspondent Shamal Ramadan reported on January 27
from Irbil that Kurdish intellectual and Austrian citizen Kamal Sayyid
Qadir would be retried because of procedural issues in his first trial.
Qadir was convicted in December of defaming the Kurdish cause and the
intelligence service of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in
articles that he wrote while in Austria. He was sentenced to two 15-
year prison terms on separate indictments.
In the RFI broadcast, Ramadan asked a member of the Irbil Court of
Cassation, Muhammad Umar to explain why Qadir must face a second trial
on the charges. Umar said the Penal Board at the Court of Cassation
reviewed the case and found Qadir's offenses were misdemeanors, not
criminal in nature. Umar told RFI that "based on this, the [Court of
Cassation] has abolished the sentences issued by the Criminal Court in
Irbil and returned the case to the Court of Investigations, which
should pass the case on to another court." Umar said the sentence could
be a fine or imprisonment from three months to five years.
In the same broadcast, RFI heard another legal point of view from
lawyer Jamal Qasim, a KDP representative in the Iraqi Kurdistan
National Assembly. Qasim said: "No one will object to the Court of
Cassation decision -- neither those who called for the punishment of
Dr. Kamal [Qadir], nor those who have been mentioned in the [allegedly
defamatory] texts and publications by him. There is no need to issue an
amnesty, because there is absolutely no intention to call Dr. Kamal
[Qadir] to responsibility. In my opinion, he will be released within a
week or, at most, a few days [more than that]. I think there is no
justification for keeping him imprisoned, as he has been in jail now
for some three months."
** The Director of Radio Free Iraq, Sergey Danilochkin, may be reached
by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Radio Free Iraq's website is at
http://www.iraqhurr.org/; English-language news about events in Iraq
can be found at http://www.rferl.org/featuresarchive/country/iraq.html
RUSSIAN SERVICE FOLLOWS NGO ESPIONAGE SCANDAL...
RFE/RL's Russian Service followed the espionage story that broke on
January 22, when a scheduled TV documentary was replaced with an
unscheduled program about spies in Moscow working for the British,
allegedly channeling funds through NGOs
(http://www.svobodanews.ru/special/specials/spy.html). The TV film
showed documents of payments made to NGOs by the British embassy and
shadowy, indeterminate figures, handling a rock in a park that
concealed communications technology for receiving and passing
The two main groups accused were the Moscow Helsinki Group and the
Washington-based Eurasia Foundation. A Moscow correspondent for the
Russian Service interviewed both Ludmila Alexeeva, head of the Moscow
Helsinki Group and a longtime RFE/RL contributor, and the Eurasia
Foundation's Moscow Project Coordinator for Independent Media Maria
In continuing coverage, the service also aired an exclusive interview
with former KGB master spy Oleg Gordievsky, now living in London, who
told RFE/RL there were several suspicious aspects to the story and that
it could have been staged
Other experts pointed out that the incident appears to be an attempt by
Russian authorities to justify new legislation aimed at more closely
...BREAKS NEWS OF HORRIFYING HAZING INCIDENT
RFE/RL's Russian Service was the first media to broadcast nationwide
news of an incident of hazing at a military academy in Chelyabinsk in
Sychev, a 19-year-old conscript, was brutally bound, beaten and
tortured by senior servicemen at the Chelyabinsk Tank Academy during a
December 31 New Year's Eve celebration. By the time Sychev was
transferred to a local hospital on January 4, gangrene had developed in
both legs and, in order to save the young man's life, doctors were
forced to amputate both of his legs and his genitals. Sychev remains
hospitalized, weeks after the incident, in critical condition.
RFE/RL first broadcast news of the incident on January 13, with a
report by Chelyabinsk correspondent Alexander Valiev
For weeks, the story had been confined to the local press and, despite
an ongoing investigation, no arrests have been made. Since that first
report, RFE/RL's Russian Service has provided daily updates on the
Sychev case, as well as reports adding a broader perspective on the
story. The service has aired interviews with Sychev's doctors, members
of his family and representatives of the Soldiers' Mothers'
organization, as well as legal and military experts. Sychev's story
reached the attention of national media more than three weeks after
the incident took place, at which time top levels of government took
note as well.
** The Director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Maria Klein, may be
reached by email at <email@example.com>. The Azerbaijani Service's
website is at http://www.svoboda.org; English-language news about
events in Russia can be found at
GAS, ENERGY CRISIS TOP STORY FOR GEORGIAN SERVICE
The explosions on the Mozdok-Tbilisi gas pipeline in the Russian
republic of North Ossetia on January 22 effectively shut down the flow
of Russian gas to Georgia; that same day, electricity supplies to
Georgia were interrupted following an explosion at a transmission tower
on Russian territory
The gas and energy crisis caused by the blasts and worsened by
persistent, unusually cold weather, dominated broadcasting of RFE/RL's
Georgian Service in late January. The service aired numerous reports on
the energy situation, interviews with experts and officials as well as
ordinary Georgians and their experiences. The service also spoke to
political analysts to look at the angry rhetoric between Tbilisi and
Moscow, assess Georgia's deteriorating relations with Russia and follow
negotiations to get alternative energy supplies from Iran and Central
Energy expert Gia Khukhashvili was RFE/RL's studio guest on the
"Dghes Dilit" morning show January 25, moderated by broadcaster Nino
Gelashvili in RFE/RL's Tbilisi bureau. Khukhashvili criticized the
Georgian government for being, as he said, completely unprepared for
the crisis and for not having built a system of gas reservoirs
In another interview, broadcast live January 26, RFE/RL spoke to the
mayor of Stepantsminda, the town in the Caucasus Mountains closest to
the scene of explosions. Mayor Gogo Kirikashvili described the scene
at the blast and the current hardships of the townspeople living
without heat or light in subfreezing weather with the temperature
dropping to minus 25 centigrade
A reporter for the Georgian Service in the western town of Poti filed a
story aired January 26 from the local school where classes were
suspended because freezing temperatures inside the building endangered
both children and teachers
** The Director of RFE/RL's Georgian Service, David Kakabadze, may be
reached by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The Georgian Service's
website is at http://www.tavisupleba.org/; English-language news about
events in Georgia can be found at
ROMANIA-MOLDOVA SERVICE MONITORS TRANSDNIESTER TALKS...
A major story for RFE/RL's Romania-Moldova Service was the new round of
international talks on Transdniester January 26-27, to break the
decade-long deadlocked feud over Moldova's Russian-speaking breakaway
territory. There were hopes the so called "Five Plus Two" talks
(representatives of Chisinau and Tiraspol, mediators from Russia,
Ukraine and the OSCE, and observers from the U.S. and European Union)
could end the impasse. But the talks, held evenhandedly one day in
Tiraspol and one day in Chisinau, ended with little progress.
RFE/RL's Chisinau correspondent covered the meeting and spoke to
members of participating delegations
Later, he interviewed government officials on both sides to get their
reaction. Ievgheni Shevchiuk, recently elected speaker of the Tiraspol
Supreme Soviet, told RFE/RL that in addition to demilitarization, much
of the discussion was about border crossings of goods and people and
Ukraine's delay in deploying Ukrainian border guards along the disputed
line, as agreed last year. The service also broadcast January 30 an
interview with Moldovan reintegration minister Vasile Shova, who noted
that in addition to the multi-party talks, Moldova is patiently seeking
the withdrawal of Russian troops and munitions from Transdniester, in
direct bilateral negotiations with Moscow
...INVESTIGATES PASAT CASE...
RFE/RL's Romania-Moldova Service looked into the murky case of former
Moldovan defense minister Valeriu Pasat, who was recently sentenced to
ten years hard labor by a Moldovan secret court for his role in selling
21 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter planes to the U.S. Defense Department in
1997. In a telephone interview from Prague, the service spoke to E.
Wayne Merry, a former Pentagon official who managed the deal on the
U.S. side and had prepared a deposition in Pasat's defense that was
cleared by the Defense Department
However the court refused to consider it as evidence in the case. Merry
gave a briefing about the issue for journalists and policymakers at
RFE/RL offices in Washington on January 31, as well as an exclusive
interview to the service that was broadcast to Moldova. He said the
transaction has been used as a pretext by the current Communist Party
government of Moldova and that Pasat's imprisonment must be seen in the
broader context of tensions between Moldova and Russia over energy
policies. Pasat's most recent position was representative of the Russian
Unified Energy Systems company. Merry noted in the interview that, at
the time, the only other country interested in buying the MiGs was Iran
-- an "illegal" player on the arms market. He said that had Moldova sold
the aircraft to Iran, the US would have imposed sanctions against
Chisinau. A report on the briefing can be read at
...INTERVIEWS ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu gave an interview on
January 24 to RFE/RL's Romanian Service about his country's
preparations to join the European Union
Ungureanu said a new "flexible" visa system for Moldovan citizens has
been designed and is ready to be implemented as soon as Romania becomes
an EU member. Romania has fulfilled its obligation, but not so Moldova,
Ungureanu told the Romania/Moldova Service. He said Moldova has not done
enough to secure its border with Romania and that it remains an easy
crossing for drug smuggling and other illicit trafficking. Romania
signed the EU Accession Treaty last April and is slated to become a
member of the European Union in 2007.
** The Director of RFE/RL's Romania/Moldova Service, Oana Serafim, may
be reached by email at <email@example.com>. The Romania/Moldova
Service's website is at http://www.europalibera.org/; English-language
news about events in Moldova can be found at
http://www.rferl.org/featuresarchive/country/moldova.html and in
Romania at http://www.rferl.org/featuresarchive/country/romania.html
RADIO FREE AFGHANISTAN PREVIEWS LONDON CONFERENCE...
A major story for RFE/RL's Afghan Service was the international
conference in London on aid to Afghanistan at the end of January.
A week in advance, Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent Sultan
Sarwar in Kabul interviewed visiting author and Afghanistan expert
Barnett Rubin, who is Director of Studies at New York University's
Center on International Cooperation
Rubin was in Kabul to assess Afghan government policy goals and
planned later to attend the London conference as an observer.
He told Radio Free Afghanistan that the so-called "Afghanistan
Compact" to be discussed at the London Conference is a plan that will
guide international efforts in Afghanistan now that the "Bonn Process"
-- outlined in the Bonn accords of December 2001 -- has been completed.
"It takes up where the Bonn agreement left off," he said, adding that
this agreement will go on for the next five years to help make those
institutions really effective and launch a development program in
Afghanistan." Rubin noted that "this is the first time the
international community has had this kind of formally organized
engagement for a total of nine years with a country that was trying to
emerge from conflict." In a preview of the conference agenda, he said
the Afghanistan Compact "is really about all dimensions of building a
state. It's about security. It's about building up better [governance],
the rule of law, and protection of human rights. And it's about
economic and social development. And this compact recognizes that these
are all interrelated and not one of them can succeed without the
other...The police are going to be completely reorganized and made more
effective so that they protect people rather than abusing them. It has
very concrete targets for building roads [and] irrigation works so that
farmers have more water. And it supports the Afghan National
Development Strategy -- which has a plan for economic development and
the reduction of poverty in Afghanistan."
...INTERVIEWS FOREIGN MINISTER...
Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah was interviewed on January 21
by RFE/RL Afghan Service correspondent Zarif Nazar. During the
interview, Abdullah discussed the most recent videotaped message from
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the current state of the Taliban,
terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, and the upcoming London conference on
the Afghanistan Compact. He said the Afghan proposal to be discussed at
the conference calls for Afghanistan to play a steadily growing role in
allocating, distributing and administering international aid, noting
said that all aid was initially implemented through NGOs -- a situation
that is now changing. Abdullah said that the document that is to be
presented to the conference includes a section about ways of ensuring
the effectiveness of the aid: "If supported by the participants, there
will be commitment in moving in this direction."
...GOVERNOR OF KANDAHAR
A series of suicide bombings in the southern province of Kandahar in
mid-January dominated news on Radio Free Afghanistan. The service
interviewed Kandahar provincial Governor Asadullah Khalid in a program
that aired on January 16
Khalid spoke about the worst attack -- a bombing at a wrestling match at
a fair in Spin Boldak, a town near Pakistan which killed some two dozen
people. Hours earlier, a suicide bomber hurled himself in front of an
Afghan army vehicle, killing three soldiers and two civilians, and
wounding 16 others. In the interview, Khalid rejected the idea that
Afghan nationals carried out any of the recent suicide attacks in his
province. He said it is more likely that suicide attacks are being
coordinated from within Pakistan. "It is clear that this area has a long
border with Pakistan," Khalid said, "and it is also clear that all
enemies of Afghanistan live inside Pakistan. They have centers for
training suicide bombers. They can easily infiltrate Kandahar. Afghans
don't have the history of suicide bombing. These are all foreigners."
An expert interviewed January 17 by RFE/RL's Central News
correspondent Ron Synovitz was of the same view. Abdul Ahrar Romizpour,
professor of law, politics, and human rights at Kabul University, told
RFE/RL that he believes the current wave of suicide bombings is the
result of influence from foreign militants of Arab origin, as well as
recruits from some Pakistani madrassahs that have educated young Afghan
"Most of these suicide attacks are coordinated and organized from abroad
in places where these fundamentalist religious circles advocate such
ideas," Romizpour said. "But it can't be ruled out that Afghans are
involved -- especially those in traditional fundamentalist areas."
** The Director of Radio Free Afghanistan, Akbar Ayazi, may be reached
by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Radio Free Afghanistan's website is
located at http://www.azadiradio.org/; English-language news about
events in Afghanistan can be found at
KAZAKH SERVICE INTERVIEWS RELEASED OPPOSITION LEADER
Kazakh opposition leader Galymzhan Zhakiyanov spoke to RFE/RL's Kazakh
Service and Central News correspondent a day after his release from
prison on January 14
In the interview, aired on January 15, Zhakiyanov expressed joy at his
new-found freedom and the welcome he got from family and friends.
An RFE/RL correspondent from the Almaty bureau was present as
hundreds of supporters greeted Zhakiyanov on arrival at Almaty train
station on January 15. Forty-two year-old Zhakiyanov had been held in a
remote, low security prison zone in northern Kazakhstan since 2002 on
charges of abusing his power as a former governor of the industrial
Pavlodar region in the country's north. International human rights
groups, including Amnesty International, have said his imprisonment was
politically motivated. In 2001, Zhakiyanov founded the opposition
Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan party, which was outlawed three years
later. He was freed under a provision allowing detainees to be paroled
after serving half their sentence.
Zhakiyanova's wife Karlygach shared her feelings with RFE/RL,
saying: "It is a very happy day. We have waited for this for such a
long time. We look forward to the future with hope. We hope tomorrow
will bring positive changes."
Sergei Duvanov, an independent journalist and himself a former
political prisoner himself, spoke to RFE/RL in Almaty where he also
welcomed the release of Zhakiyanov on Sunday: "He should have been
released long ago. But authorities delayed it because they feared the
consequences of Zhakiyanov's appearance on the political scene."
Opposition members say authorities waited until after President
Nursultan Nazarbayev's inauguration January 11 to free the president's
political opponents. Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, head of the For a Just
Kazakhstan group and an unsuccessful candidate in last month's
presidential election, said Zhakiyanov's release will help the
opposition "continue its work more efficiently and actively." Altynbek
Sarsenbayev, co-chairman of the opposition Naghyz Ak Zhol (True Bright
Path) party said "the next step is to unify the democratic forces."
** The Director of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Merhat Sharipzhan, may be
reached by email at <email@example.com>. The Kazakh Service's
website is at http://www.azattyq.org/; English-language news about
events in Kazakhstan can be found at
IBRAHIM RUGOVA AND RFE/RL
Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova's death January 21 ended an association
with RFE/RL that spanned more than a decade.
RFE/RL correspondents interviewed him at least twice in the 1990s
when he made low profile visits to Washington to try and persuade the
U.S. political establishment to support independence for Kosovo. Rugova
was always willing to speak to RFE/RL and in 1998 he visited RFE/RL
headquarters in Prague, in order to highlight the oppression of
Albanian-language media in Kosovo by the government of then Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic.
The last exclusive interview Rugova gave to RFE/RL's South Slavic
& Albanian Languages Service (SSALS) was on December 24, 2004 in
Prishtina. At the end of the interview he expressed appreciation for
the work of RFE/RL, saying: "My regards to your respected and honored
radio in Kosovo."
RFE/RL has a bureau in Prishtina and broadcasts 90 minutes daily
in Albanian to Kosovo. An RFE/RL correspondent was present earlier that
year in October when Rugova spoke to the press after voting in Kosovo's
parliamentary election. He said: "this is a great day, important for
Kosovo independence, for Kosovo which is integrated within E.U., NATO
and anchored in friendship with the United States of America". An
RFE/RL correspondent was also present to record Rugova's words in
Prishtina September 5, 2005, when he told his people of his ill health:
"Doctors say that I suffer from localized lung cancer, and they have
prescribed intensive therapy... I am convinced that I will, with the
help of God, win this battle so we can proceed together with even more
energy toward our goal -- recognition of our state Kosovo as an
independent state, as soon as possible by our American and European
When he died at age 61 on January 21, SSALS pre-empted regular
programming to dedicate all broadcasting that day to highlights of
Rugova's life and achievements, official and popular reaction to his
death, interviews with Rugova's friends and associates and look at the
impact this would have on international negotiations for independence.
On the same day, RFE/RL also aired a dialogue between Momcilo
Trajkovic, a veteran Serbian political leader who heads the Serbian
Resistance Movement of Kosovo, and Basri Qaprici, president of Kosovo's
PEN Club and a longtime Rugova associate
Trajkovic said that Rugova was the first ethnic Albanian politician to
openly call for independence, while Qaprici pointed out that Rugova was
"a symbol of peace in the Balkans who sought a peaceful resolution of
the Kosovo question." Local media reported the interviews and quoted
extensively from RFE/RL programming.
On the day of the funeral, January 27, Albanian language KOHA
Television named RFE/RL's SSALS as one of the best sources of news and
general reporting on the death of President Rugova and the aftermath.
It showed on screen RFE/RL's Albanian language website which posted
transcripts and audio of interviews and broadcasts on president Rugova.
** The Director of RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service
(SSALS), Omer Karabeg, may be reached by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
The SSALS website in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian is located at
http://www.slobodnaevropa.org, in Albanian at
http://www.europaelire.org and in Macedonian at
http://www.makdenes.org; English-language news about events in Kosovo
can be found at
RFE/RL in the News
RFE/RL EXPERT COMMENTS ON KOSOVO ON "KOJO NNAMDI SHOW"...
RFE/RL Regional Analyst Patrick Moore participated on Washington, DC
National Public Radio affiliate WAMU's "Kojo Nnamdi Show" January 26,
participating in a discussion about the future of Kosovo after the
death of its leader Ibrahim Rugova
(http://www.wamu.org/programs/kn/06/01/26.php; for more on Rugova's
passing, see above). Moore, an expert on the Balkans and Russia who
publishes daily reports and weekly analyses on the region for RFE/RL's
English language website, noted in the program that the ethnic
Albanians' demand for independence is based on the principles of self-
determination and majority rule. Moore also pointed out that the main
reason for their animosity towards the Serbian minority is the role
that many local Serbs played in keeping former Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic in power and in the expulsion of 850,000 Albanians
from their homes in 1999. Other guests on the hour-long program were
Paul Williams, Assistant Professor of Law and International Relations
in the American University School of International Service and Igor
Radonjic, American Refugee Committee Director for Serbia-Montenegro.
** The Executive Producer of RFE/RL's Central Newsroom, Deborah Seward,
may be reached by email at <email@example.com>.
MORE THAN 1 MILLION VISITORS AT RFE/RL WEBSITES IN JANUARY
RFE/RL's Internet websites began the New Year on a high note, reaching
an all-time monthly record in January with more than one million
visitors and 12.3 million page views. A redesigned Russian language
website, launched in mid-January, attracted tens of thousands of new
visitors and boosted statistics over the one million mark. The new
website, www.svobodanews.ru, registered a 50 percent jump in visitors
when compared to December (to over 451,000), making it the company's
most visited website. In addition to its main page in English, RFE/RL
publishes content on the Internet in 24 languages, featuring news and
analytical articles and live and on-demand streaming audio programs.
RFE/RL's second most-popular site, with more than 291,000 visitors, is
the Internet home of Radio Farda, the Persian-language
http://www.radiofarda.com . Radio Farda, operated jointly by RFE/RL and
VOA broadcasts 24 hours daily to Iran. RFE/RL's website was established
** The Media Relations Coordinator in Prague, Anna Rausova, may be
reached by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
RFE/RL PROGRAM ON MACEDONIAN TELEVISION NATIONWIDE
The RFE/RL South Slavic and Albanian Service's (SSALS) radio program
"Sunday Interview" is now being broadcast by the Kanal 5 television
network in Macedonia. Kanal 5, an independent station seen nationwide,
introduced the show January 22. The weekly program, featuring
interviews with top politicians, has included conversations with
Macedonia's president, prime minister, speaker of parliament and
leaders of major parties. Prepared by SSALS, the program was an instant
hit when it launched on radio last September and is carried also by 7
local TV stations. Kanal 5 is the first national TV network in
Macedonia to feature "Sunday Interview." The show airs simultaneously
on RFE/RL radio; transcripts of the interviews are posted to the SSALS
Macedonian language website
(http://www.makdenes.org/programs/intervju/ma/) and are often published
and quoted in local newspapers. SSALS programs also air twice weekly on
public television in Bosnia.
** The Director of RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service
(SSALS), Omer Karabeg, may be reached by email at <email@example.com>.
The SSALS website in Macedonian is located at http://www.makdenes.org;
English-language news about events in Macedonia can be found at
RFE/RL UZBEK BROADCASTER GETS AWARD
Alisher Sidikov, a broadcaster with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's
Uzbek Service was selected by the Swedish branch of Reporters Without
Borders as recipient of the Press Freedom Award Sweden 2005, for his
coverage of the Andijan massacre last May and its repressive aftermath
in Uzbekistan. Sidikov was forced to leave Uzbekistan in the wake of
the massacre, but continued to tell the story of Andijan in Sweden,
helping Swedish journalists cover Uzbek issues and contributing
articles and reports to Swedish television and major newspapers.
Sidikov also worked with Swedish politicians and international
organizations to increase understanding of Uzbek developments and press
freedom issues in Uzbekistan.
Sidikov, a longtime contributor to RFE/RL Uzbek language
broadcasts, joined the Uzbek Service full-time in December and moved to
Prague. His regular RFE/RL program "The Fourth Power," deals with
freedom of the press issues in Uzbekistan. Sidikov will receive the
award from Reporters Without Borders at a ceremony in Stockholm on
February 9, 2006.
** The Acting Director of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Sojida Djakhfarova,
may be reached by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The Uzbek
Service's website is at http://www.ozodlik.org/; English-language news
about events in Uzbekistan can be found at
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Review" is a weekly compilation of the best programming produced by the
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than 1,000 hours of programming a week in 28 languages to 20 countries
in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and Southwestern
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