The Best of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reporting
November 1-30, 2007
Kidnapped Radio Free Iraq Correspondent Released
A Baghdad correspondent for Radio Free Iraq was released by her captors
in early November after being kidnapped and held for two weeks. Jumana Al-Obaidi, 29, was snatched from her car on October 22 while on her way to an interview at the Iraqi Environment Ministry. Her driver, a young man identified only as Abdullah, was shot and killed that morning and his body found dumped in the street.
RFE/RL Reacts Nimbly to Media Blackout in Georgia
RFE/RL was one of the media outlets affected by the Georgian government's declaration of a state of emergency
Bryza Demands End to Georgia's State of Emergency in Exclusive RFE/RL Interview
On November 9, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza
Radio Free Afghanistan First to Report Deadly Baghlan Blast
Radio Free Afghanistan was the first media outlet to report the massive bomb attack
that took place in the northern Baghlan province on November 6, killing 80 people. After receiving confirmation of the death Mustafa Kazemi, the head of a parliamentary delegation touring a sugar factory in Baghlan, Radio Free Afghanistan broadcast the news and summoned reporters from the surrounding regions to help with the reporting. The team of reporters visited the injured people in hospital in Baghlan, interviewed a member of Parliament who witnessed the attack (and who was probably its main target), and conducted several "vox pops" on the story.
Russian Service Gears Up for December Parliamentary Elections
Throughout November, the Russian Service devoted extensive coverage to the Duma elections that took place on December 2. In a media landscape dominated by Kremlin-controlled outlets, RFE/RL's coverage stood out for its breadth and objectivity. The Service also landed interviews with scores of high-profile experts and commentators. On November 28, for example, the Service broadcast an exclusive interview with Spencer Oliver, Secretary General of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, who rejected Putin's allegations that Washington had orchestrated the OSCE's decision not to send election observers to Russia. On November 29, Boris Nemtsov, one of the opposition leaders and a possible presidential candidate, was a guest on the Service's talk show Time of Guests, where he challenged the common perception that Putin had "saved" Russia from the chaos of the 1990s.
RFE/RL Poll Reveals Skepticism Towards Russian Elections
Ukrainian Service Airs Interview with Former Intelligence Chief
On November 9, the Ukrainian Service broadcast an exclusive interview with Ihor Smieshko, the former director of the Ukrainian Security Service. Smieshko was the head of Ukrainian intelligence when it spun off from the KGB. He is also considered to be connected with the poisoning of President Victor Yushchenko, since the President had dinner with Smieshko a few days before the symptoms of the poisoning emerged. The interview garnered a lot of domestic attention and was widely quoted by other media outlets in Ukraine.
RFE/RL Launches Second TV Show in Georgia
Azerbaijani Service Focuses on Latest Jailing of Journalist
The Azerbaijani Service reported in November that Azerbaijan had imprisoned another journalist, and three in the previous 30 days, enhancing its reputation as the leading jailer of journalists in Eurasia. The latest arrest occurred on November 11, when Qanimat Zahidov
, an editor for the opposition daily Azadliq, was charged with "hooliganism" and inflicting "minor bodily harm." If convicted he could face up to six years in prison. Nine journalists currently sit in Azerbaijani prisons.
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Copyright © 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. "RFE/RL Review" is a weekly compilation of the best programming produced by the 19 services of the RFE/RL broadcast network. RFE/RL broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of programming a week in 28 languages to 21 countries in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and Southwestern Asia.
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