The rest of Abbas Atilay’s photos of Lake Orumieh can be viewed on RFE/RL’s Facebook page as part of our “Friday Photos From…” series.
RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani service website, Radio Azadliq also prepared a sound slide show (in Azeri).
Radio Azadliq’s photographer and correspondent, Abbas Atilay, recently travelled to Iran and photographed Lake Orumieh, one of the world’s largest saltwater lakes. The lake has shrunk 60 percent, stirring up environmentalists, who have voiced their concern over the future of the lake. At the same time activists and artists in Iran have appealed to the Iranian government to take action and preserve lake Orumieh, leading to anti-government protests.
To find out more about the controversy surrounding Lake Orumieh, check out RFE/RL’s exclusive coverage and analysis, such as RFE/RL’s senior correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari’s feature on how the dying lake gives new life to Iran’s anti-govenrment protests.
Also read about the position of Iranian artists, and Azeri activists arrested in Iran over the lake protests.
Photo Caption: Rasul Magomedov, father one of two suicide bombers who killed 40 people in the Moscow metro last year.
Radicalization is splitting society in Russia’s North Caucasus regions where violence and instability is spreading. RFE/RL Senior Correspondent Gregory Feifer traveled to the mountains of Daghestan and Ingushetia with cameraman Yuri Timofeev and reports that traditional society there is tearing at the seams.
The series showcases video interviews with such personalities as Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, president of Russia’s North Caucasus region of Ingushetia; two mothers whose sons have disappeared upon suspicion of links with radical Islamic terrorists; and the father of one of two suicide bombers who killed 40 people in the Moscow metro last year.
Radicalization Splitting Society In Russia’s North Caucasus — with video
Fear And Loathing: Russian Attitudes Help Fuel Instability In The North Caucasus
Listen to Gregory discuss the series in this week’s edition of The Blender and for additional photos from the series, visit our special Facebook “Friday Photos From…Daghestan and Ingushetia” gallery.
RFE/RL correspondent Dovletmyrat Yazkuliyev has been freed under a presidential amnesty, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reports.
The trial and sentence drew condemnation from media-rights group Reporters Without Borders and prompted four senior U.S senators to express their concern in a letter to the Turkmen ambassador in Washington.
An RFE/RL correspondent met Yazkuliyev after he was freed on October 26 and said he conveyed his gratitude to all those who had campaigned for his release.
In a statement, RFE/RL President Steve Korn welcomed Yazkuliyev’s release.
“But, while we are pleased that he is free, RFE/RL maintains that Mr. Yazkuliyev’s detention was invalid and deeply disturbing,” Korn added.
On her “Persian Letters” blog, Esfandiari looks at a recent announcement by Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour, who says the use of antifiltering tools and virtual private networks (VPN) is a crime.
On Friday October 21, RFE/RL’s Golnaz Esfandiari, Senior Correspondent and Persian Letters blogger, will be a presenter for PopTech DC!, a gathering of innovative journalists and global programs from throughout BBG media organizations.
The event runs from 8:30 - 11 a.m. at the BBG Headquarters at 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC, with a livestream of the Re:Volution session from the PopTech 2011 conference in Camden, Maine. Esfandiari’s segment, “Brave New World: Alternative Delivery in Challenging Media Environments” is scheduled for 10:40 am.
Other tech presentations include VOA’s Saman Arbabi and Kambiz Hosseini of Parazit, PopTech’s Micah Garen and Marie Helene Carleton with an “Arab Spring” documentary, and Live Ignite Sessions hosted by BBG Director of Innovation Rob Bole.
Please visit http://bbgpoptech.eventbrite.com/ for a full agenda and to register by noon on October 20. Tickets are free but registration is required.
For questions about PopTech DC! or further information, contact the BBG’s Office of Public Affairs, 202-203-4400, email@example.com
Note: The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to inform and engage people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí).
RFE/RL’s six-part series on the Russian media is but one example of the outstanding reporting from our bureaus this week. It’s only Thursday, but here’s a recap of some of the best so far from Russia, Ukraine and the Balkans:
# In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL’s Balkan Service, Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga has urged Serbia to stop meddling in its internal affairs, saying both Pristina and Belgrade have to move toward European Union integration. The call comes as a European diplomatic offensive to revive talks between the two sides failed amid continued tensions in northern Kosovo.
# New charges have been filed against former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was convicted on October 11 on abuse-of-office charges. Prior to the conviction, the EU was expected to sign a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) deal and an Association Agreement with Ukraine before the end of the year, but the verdict, which was met with concern by Moscow and other world leaders, led EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to announce that the bloc “will reflect on its policies” towards Kyiv.
# William Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital, once the largest U.S. investor in Russia, says he and his colleagues will continue to seek justice for their colleague, Sergei Magnitsky, who died while in the custody of Russian authorities. Two prison doctors have been charged over the death.
# For years soccer has stood out in Bosnia, a country haunted by memories of violent civil war and riven by divisions among its three main ethnic groups — Bosnian-Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. Despite ethnic tensions, the national soccer league has endured, boasting teams from all ethnic communities and holding hundreds of matches each year with very few violent incidents. That achievement, though, now seems under threat, as soccer-related violence has broken out in three cities in the last two weeks.
# And although this story ran over the weekend, who can resist a good Yeti yarn?
For additional news on Russia and Ukraine, please follow Radio Svoboda online (also in Russian) and The Power Vertical on Twitter, and our Balkan Service online.
Ten years ago today, U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan to destroy the Al-Qaeda network — blamed for the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 — and topple its protector, the hard-line Taliban regime. With investigative reports, interviews, wire photos and video, RFE/RL revisits Afghanistan on the 10th anniversary since the U.S. invasion.
# In 2002, one year after the fall of the Taliban, RFE/RL correspondent Grant Podelco visited the Afghan capital and spent a morning with schoolteacher Mohammad Kabir Anwari, his wife, Rabia, and their six daughters. Anwari spoke about the positive changes that had taken place in his family’s life since the fall of the Taliban. To mark the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion, RFE/RL tracked down Anwari in Kabul today to find out how he and his family have fared in the intervening years, which have seen increasing instability and a Taliban resurgence.
# The U.S.-led invasion in 2001 inspired optimism for women who had previously suffered from violence and suppression. RFE/RL correspondent Frud Bezhan examines the current situation for Afghan women and whether their lives have changed for the better.
# The conflict in Afghanistan has become the longest war in U.S. history. International and Afghan forces battle a fierce insurgency, with casualties and frustrations mounting within the war-weary Afghan public and the international community. RFE/RL offers a photogallery that includes contributions from AFP, Reuters, Bymedia.net, EPA, Pajhwak Afghan News and NATO.
# In two videos, Anja Niedringhaus of the Associated Press speaks to a Taliban fighter about why he joined the militia and why he thinks support for the Taliban is growing, and a soldier in the Afghan National Army about his life on the front lines and his hopes for improving security in the country.
For updates on Afghanistan, follow Radio Azadi and Gandhara online and on Twitter.
For breaking news in all of RFE/RL’s broadcast regions, also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
RFE/RL marks the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya with investigative reports of Russian media and the leadership of Vladimir Putin. Politkovskaya was gunned down in her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006, just two days after giving what was to be her final interview to RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Radio Svoboda.
# In the first of of six-part series on the Russian media, Gregory Feifer examines issues including ownership and censorship, the changing habits of news consumers, problems journalists face in Russia’s regions, the rise and impact of online media, and the role of tabloids.
# In an extensive interview, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg discussed the Politskovkaya case, as well as other high-profile murder investigations and key human rights issues in Russia, which he says must be resolved to avoid an “atmosphere of impunity.”
# Vladimir Putin will return to the Kremlin for at least one, and most likely two, six-year terms starting in 2012. But what kind of policies will the next incarnation of Putin pursue and how will Russian society respond to whatever form Putin 2.0 takes? Brian Whitmore offers four possible scenarios for Putin, The Sequel.
# Syrian human rights activist Razan Zeitouneh, who has risked her life to report to the outside world on atrocities committed under the government’s continuing crackdown on protesters, has been honored with the annual Anna Politikovskaya award by London-based rights NGO Reach All Women in War (RAW in War). Zeitouneh was branded a foreign agent on Syrian state television after reporting to outside media in March on an attack by security forces on a mosque in the southern city of Daraa. She soon went into hiding, but has continued to document the violence against protesters and communicate the information to international media and rights groups.
For additional news on Russia, please follow Radio Svoboda online (also in Russian) and The Power Vertical on Twitter.
For breaking news in all of RFE/RL’s broadcast regions, also follow us on Facebook.
RFE/RL Features go deep in regions that make news around the world. Today we offer highlights from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Russia and Central Asia.
# In an exclusive interview with Radio Free Afghanistan, former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad says the U.S. relationship with Pakistan “has entered a very sensitive period” over the issue of Afghanistan. Khalilzad, who is currently a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and has also served as the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and the United Nations, says, “I think U.S. pressure on Pakistan will increase in the future. Pakistan’s stance toward Afghanistan has always been a problem in U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.”
# In another exclusive interview, Pakistani reality TV star Veena Malik reveals how her confrontation with a religious cleric eager to criticize her career reveals growing tension between conservative Islam, modernity, and the role of women in Pakistan today. Picking up on the thread of meddling mullahs, the Gandhara blog reports that a clerical alliance in Pakistan has issued a religious decree (fatwa) saying it is illegitimate to call the United States a “superpower” because “only Allah Almighty deserved the title.”
# Vahid Pourostad was a well-known Iranian journalist who, before his forced exile from Iran about a year ago, served on the editorial boards of many reformist newspapers. Now working for Radio Farda, he spoke to Persian Letters blog author Golnaz Esfandiari about his experience and offers an insider’s look at “the minefield” that is journalism in Iran.
# In 1991, the Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union ventured into independence. In the 20 years since, there have many changes in daily life. But perhaps the most notable is the dwindling influence of the one language that Central Asians once had in common: Russian.
# In “The Blender” podcast, Miriam Elder of “The Guardian” discusses the political fallout from the clash between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin.
# For the first time in its more than 200 years of history, Russia’s legendary Bolshoi Ballet will soon welcome an American into its ranks. Correspondent Richard Solash reports that when David Hallberg leaps onto the Moscow stage this November, he will do so with the echoes of Soviet defectors in the background, and with a chance to leave his mark on one of the jewels of Russian culture.
For breaking news from RFE/RL, you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Russian PM Vladimir Putin went diving in the Black Sea. He found a couple ancient jugs…but there were some other, less publicized, findings as well…check them out here.
Check out Daisy Sindelar’s photos and dispatches from Osh, Kyrgyzstan