Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NEWS: RFE/RL Caucasus Report - November 24, 2009 (

A review of RFE/RL reporting and analysis about the countries of the South Caucasus and Russia's North Caucasus region.

For more stories on the Caucasus, please visit and bookmark our Caucasus page .

Mediators Note Progress In Munich Karabakh Talks The Munich meeting was the sixth between the two presidents this year, and according to the French co-chairman, Ambassador Bernard Fassier, it was "particularly long, because very constructive, detailed, and in-depth discussions took place between the two presidents on all the basic elements that have yet to be agreed on. Some of these elements were discussed for the first time in such a detailed and deepened manner." More

Election Law Consensus Eludes Georgian Ruling Party, Opposition The interparty working group established in March to draft amendments to Georgia's election law failed at its most recent meetings (on November 12 and 18) to reach a compromise agreement on how the mayor of Tbilisi should be elected. More

Jailed Azerbaijani Bloggers Allowed To Meet Parents Judge Araz Huseinov has allowed the parents of Adnan Hajizada to visit with his parents on November 25, while Emin Milli and his parents will be allowed to meet the following day. More

Fired Armenian Police Chief Charged With Physical Abuse The recently fired police chief of Armenia's second city of Gyumri has been charged with abuse and mistreatment, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

Armenian Court Allows Jailed Editor To Run For Parliament An Armenian administrative court has ordered police to issue jailed opposition leader and newspaper editor Nikol Pashinian with papers allowing him to run in an upcoming parliamentary by-election, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

Difficulties Reported At Latest Armenia-Azerbaijan Summit International mediators gave a mixed assessment of the Munich talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying there was progress on some issues but a failure to agree on others, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

Russia Buries Outspoken Priest Killed In Church Mourners in Moscow have buried a Russian Orthodox priest shot dead by a masked gunman. Daniil Sysoyev had received death threats for converting Muslims and criticizing Islam. His death is drawing attention to fragile relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and other faiths in a country that has Europe's largest Muslim population. More

'Important Progress' At Karabakh Talks Mediators say "important progress" was made in Munich at talks between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. But the OSCE says "some difficulties" were also identified. More

Imprisoned Azerbaijani Journalist Honored By CPJ Jailed Azerbaijani journalist Eynulla Fatullayev is among the winners of the 2009 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) of journalists working in dangerous or repressive circumstances, RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service reports. More

Armenia Says No Talks With Turkey Until Protocols OK'd Armenia's Foreign Ministry has declared that Yerevan and Ankara will hold no further major negotiations until their parliaments ratify bilateral agreements on closer relations, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

'Our Facebook Campaign For Emin And Adnan' The following is a guest post from Ali S. Novruzov, an Azerbaijani who blogs over at "In Mutatione Fortitudo. He describes how the arrest and conviction of the "donkey bloggers" have pushed the country's youth activists into finding creative ways to get their message out using new technologies. More

Transparency Campaigner Warns Corruption Could Slow Recovery In Fragile Countries Transparency International has just released its annual index of corruption in countries across the globe. The Corruption Perceptions Index 2009 finds that high levels of corruption in some countries could slow international efforts to help them cope with, or recover, from the global economic crisis. We speak with Jana Mittermaier, head of Transparency International's Brussels office, to learn more. RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel conducts the interview. More

International PEN Marks Day Of The Imprisoned Writer International PEN -- the worldwide association of writers -- marks the Day of the Imprisoned Writer this time each year. Its aim is to recognize and support writers who resist repression of their basic human right to freedom of expression. While International PEN campaigns on behalf of hundreds of authors all year round, this November 15 the group is highlighting the cases of five authors in five countries, representing five geographical regions. The countries are Cameroon, Iran, China, Russia, and Mexico. RFE/RL correspondent Bruce Pannier spoke to Sara Wyatt, director of the writers in prison committee at International PEN, about the campaign. More

Council Of Europe Head 'Very Concerned' About Azerbaijan A Baku court has sentenced two young Azerbaijani bloggers to two and 2 1/2 years in prison on hooliganism charges, in a case that has brought international attention to declining freedoms in the South Caucasus state. RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service discussed the issue with Thorbjorn Jagland, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe. More

Russian Free-Press Advocate Moves To Georgia The prominent Russian journalist and free-press advocate Oleg Panfilov has moved to Tbilisi. Panfilov, a longtime critic of the Russian authorities, said he had been receiving death threats. He took Georgian citizenship last year. More

'Life Not Hell Anymore' Adam Michnik, the editor in chief of Poland's "Gazeta Wyborcza" and a leading member of the Polish democratic opposition from 1968 to 1989, was in Prague this week to attend a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain. He spoke to Irina Lagunina of RFE/RL's Russian Service about Russia, the West, and the post-Soviet letdown felt in the former Eastern bloc countries. More

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