Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus

Georgian-Belarusian security cooperation deal worries political emigres in Georgia

A year after disputed presidential elections in Belarus, a Georgian-Belarusian security cooperation agreement has come into force. Critics fear the treaty could help Minsk target political dissidents residing in Georgia.

Blogger gets prison sentence for branding Kazakhstan's language policies “russophobic”

According to Taichimbekov, the Kazakh state has been "sourcing Russian individuals who speak out in favor of banning Russian television, banning Russian language, excluding it from the Constitution."

Georgian State Security Service accused of mass-surveillance of public figures

The Georgian State Security Service (SSG) has been spying on journalists, opposition and ruling party politicians, activists, priests, businesspeople, and other public figures, according to leaked documents.

Global investigation reveals Pegasus Project identified in Azerbaijan and elsewhere

Around 1,000 phone numbers belonging to users in Azerbaijan were identified, among them, prominent journalists, editors, rights defenders, lawyers, political activists, as well as their friends and family members.

Devices of journalists, government officials in Kazakhstan hacked and spied on

Journalist Serikzhan Mauletbai found himself on a list of people targeted by Israeli-made spyware the government of Kazakhstan bought. The current president and prime minister are also on the list.

More internet security for many, not for Central Asians

Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are among the few countries that will not enjoy a new privacy tool unveiled by US giant tech company Apple for its users. Apple's focus in 2021...

Pressure on journalists, bloggers mounts ahead of Uzbekistan's presidential elections

A foreign journalist loses accreditation, a pro-LBGT blogger is beaten and another blogger gets a heavy sentence on dubious charges.

How Azerbaijan's government abused Facebook's loopholes—for years

An investigation by The Guardian showed that Facebook has tolerated abuses of its platform in small nations such as Azerbaijan as it prioritized issues that affected the United States and its...

In Tajikistan, online critics land behind bars as alleged ‘extremists’

In Tajikistan, several outspoken bloggers and activists have been sent behind bars and online freedom of expression is seriously curtailed. 

In Kyrgyzstan, social media hate goes unchecked

In the wake of a contested election, Kyrgyzstan’s civil society activists, opponent politicians, and independent journalists are being heavily targeted online — with help from the country’s post-crisis leader.

Azerbaijani authorities disrupt internet nationwide amid Nagorno-Karabakh clashes

Access has been on and off since clashes broke out on September 27.

Kyrgyzstan's journalists fear yet another hurdle to freedom of speech

Kyrgyzstan's parliament has passed a law against "manipulating information." Given their recent experiences, it's no surprise that the country's journalists worry what it might mean for freedom of speech.

Interview with Bektour Iskender, co-founder of Kyrgyz outlet under attack for corruption investigation

The story's whistleblower was shot dead in Istambul in November, and Kloop.kg battles a defamation lawsuit.

Kazakhstan pauses interception of encrypted traffic, but for how long?

This was the authorities’ third attempt to enforce the use of a “national security certificate.” Although the authorities have relented, there are signs that it won’t be the last.

#FreeSerikjan and the long shadow of Xinjiang's camps in neighbouring Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's government is nervous about what Seikjan Bilash is doing, and will happen if his popularity grows.

Kazakhstan silences the Xinjiang megaphone

“I have one issue – and that issue is Xinjiang.”

‘Even by leaving us she gave us a lesson': Fearless rights defender's death shocks Tajikistan

"She was not silent when others buried their heads in the sand. She risked her life every day and knew the value of this risk."

Azerbaijanis pressure government to #FreeMehman after blogger endures 12 days on hunger strike

Young, popular and politicized, video blogger Mehman Huseynov is a classic target of the Azerbaijani government's crackdown on civil society.

Arrested for fact-checking: Kazakh court fines Ukrainian journalist after police break up media workshop

The incident highlights the authorities' aversion to discussions of Ukraine in Kazakhstan.

More Afghan journalists killed as militants ramp up attacks on Shiites

"He was live moments ago on tv without knowing he himself will be making the headlines moments later. RIP dear friend."

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