rule of law

Kazakhstan: Businessman a Hostage in Astana-Ablyazov Feud?

Without warning one evening in November, agents from Kazakhstan’s security services mobbed...

Kyrgyzstan: Crime Boss Leaves Prison After Serving Just One Year

A court in Kyrgyzstan has ordered the early release of a notorious...

Turkmenistan Bans Sex, Drugs and Violence on TV

Turkmenistan has adopted broadcasting legislation that in effect bans the depiction on...

Kyrgyzstan: After Defamation Cases, MPs Target Social Media

As Kyrgyzstan’s presidents past and present prepare to collect giant libel suit...

Royal Role Models: Historical Revisionism in Russia and Turkey

Like his counterpart in Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is looking...

Uzbekistan: Business Empire of Karimov’s Other Daughter Under Attack

In a speech full of surprises over the weekend, the president of...

Case Continues Against South Ossetian Journalist Accused of “Slandering” Ruling Party

A criminal case against one of South Ossetia's leading civic activists and...

Tajikistan: Major Debtors to Collapsed Bank Detained

The state anticorruption agency in Tajikistan has detained three major debtors to...

US Citizen Accused of Plotting to Assassinate Armenian Officials

Armenian authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a United States citizen...

The Paradise Papers Shine Light on Kleptocracy

The Paradise Papers comprise millions of leaked documents relating to offshore activities of...

Saakashvili Rallies Supporters in Kyiv after Escaping Arrest

After an hours-long standoff with law-enforcement, supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili gathered outside...

Meskhetian Turks from Ukraine Find a New Home in Turkey

Turkey has accepted the last of thousands of Meskhetian Turks from Ukraine...

Armenia: Watered-Down Domestic Violence Law “Insulting to Women”

Armenia’s government has presented its final draft of controversial legal reforms aimed...

Armenia Signs Landmark Agreement with EU

Armenia has signed a cooperation agreement with the European Union, committing to...

Kazakhstan: Mystery Luxury Paris Apartment Buyers Eludes Investigators

Even after a week of inquiries, investigators in Kazakhstan appear to be...

Tajikistan: Marriage Folds Northern Elite Into Presidential Family

Given the highly regionalized nature of power dynamics in Tajikistan, this weekend’s...

Armenia: Students Protest, Declare Hunger Strike Over Draft Deferment Bill

Changes in Armenia’s military conscription laws have resulted in large-scale protests among...

The Central Asianist Podcast with Nate Schenkkan: Order at the Bazaar

In this episode, Nate talks with Regine A....

Azerbaijan: An Activist Defies NGO Stereotypes

Shahin Javadov comes from a long line of rabble rousers....

Azerbaijan Moves to Drastically Cut Number of Lawyers

The Azerbaijani parliament has approved amendments to the country’s civil code that...

Kazakhstan: State Bailing Out Yet Another Ailing Bank

The government in Kazakhstan is mulling a generous rescue plan for a...

The Bolsheviks and the Law: The Legacy of Arbitrary Justice

Analyzing the law through the prism of a revolution is inherently paradoxical....

Kazakhstan, Paradise Papers: Offshore Propped Up by Bailed-out Bank

A trove of documents obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung has shed...

Kyrgyzstan: MPs Move to Legalize Glacier Mining

A parliamentary subcommittee in Kyrgyzstan has given backing to legislative changes that...

Armenia's Ruling Party Criticizes EU-Backed Domestic Violence Bill

Armenia's ruling party has criticized a draft bill aimed at preventing domestic...

Georgia Keeping Its Land Off-Limits for Foreigners

Every month Yuriy embarks on a 17-hour drive from Donetsk to Tbilisi,...

South Ossetia Joins Russia in Ban on Jehovah's Witnesses

Breakaway South Ossetia is jumping on board with a Russian crackdown against...

Azerbaijan: EBRD Gives Go Ahead for Azeri Pipeline Funding Despite “Laundromat” Allegations

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development’s board on October 18 approved...

Armenia: EU Officials Making Tactical Retreat in Values War

Armenia’s government has introduced long-awaited legislation to ban domestic violence, an issue...

Kyrgyzstan: Presidential Election Produces First-Round Winner

Kyrgyzstan has chosen a new president, but it remains to be seen...

Kyrgyzstan: Ruling Party's Presidential Candidate Bags Shock First-Round Victory

Vote officials in Kyrgyzstan have released preliminary results showing Sooronbai Jeenbekov as...

Kyrgyzstan: Nail-Biter Vote Generates Bitterness to the Very End

Rivals in Kyrgyzstan’s presidential election traded accusations of wrongdoing even as polling...

Azerbaijan: Suffocation of NGOs Raises Questions About Donor Strategy

The Azerbaijani government has forced the local chapter of the global corruption...

Uzbekistan: Mob War Prompts High-Level Reaction from Police

Police in the capital of Uzbekistan have confirmed the arrest of an...

Kyrgyzstan: Competitive Presidential Election Heavy on ‘Kompromat’

For the first time in Central Asia’s post-Soviet history, one elected president...

Azerbaijan: Scale of LGBT Persecution Is Rising – Lawyer

On September 22, a 19-year-old man, an aspiring fashion designer who currently...

Caucasus States, and Kurds, Assess Kurdistan's Independence Drive

In the wake of Iraqi Kurdistan's vote to declare independence, Armenia and...

Kyrgyzstan: Foreigners May Be Allowed to Buy Real Estate

Parliament in Kyrgyzstan this week began considering changes to the law that...

Tajikistan: Anti-Graft Officials Snared in Elite Rumble are Sentenced

Tajikistan’s highest court has over the past few weeks been convicting former...

Saakashvili Goes to Kyiv

After being propelled into Ukraine over the flimsy resistance of border guards,...

Kazakhstan: Latin Alphabet Is Not a New Phenomenon Among Turkic Nations

Kazakhstan’s planned transition to the Latin alphabet raises complex questions. While alphabets...

Misha in Revolution Mode

He’s rammed his way across an international border, rallied cheering supporters and...

Uzbekistan Returns to Currency Convertibility, Delivers Blow to Black Market

The big bang has arrived for Uzbekistan’s financial system, with the government...

Georgia: Verdict Arrives in Church Poisoning Plot

A guilty verdict has been delivered in Georgia’s poisoning conspiracy, an outré...

Tajikistan: What Festivities Can You Celebrate in Style?

The upper house of parliament in Tajikistan this week adopted legislation intensifying...

Kazakhstan: Authorities Scrap Rainbow Wall Over Suspicions of LGBT Propaganda

Officials in the western Kazakhstan city of Aktobe thought it might be...

Tajikistan’s Government Lays Down Rules on What Not to Wear

On the afternoon of August 3, police officers and other officials descended...

Azerbaijan: Road Deaths Involving Elite Youth Turn Political

A string of fatal car crashes involving the powerful and politically connected...

Constitutional Reform Raises the Question: What Does Georgian Dream Stand For?

Georgia’s governing party, Georgian Dream, is using the commanding victory it won...

Russia: Content Analysis Serves as a Tool of Biased Courts

Magomednabi Magomedov, a Salafist imam, received a five-year prison term from a...

Uncitizen Saakashvili: Life in Legal Limbo

Caught in a surreal bubble of statelessness, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili...

Kyrgyzstan: Officials Shackle Journalists with Giant Libel Damages

In order to silence critics of Kyrgyzstan’s president, prosecutors earlier this year...

Kazakhstan: Jailed Businessman’s Wife Makes Torture Claims

The wife of a businessman arrested in Kazakhstan on suspicion of heading...

Kazakhstan: Trade Union Leader Punished With 4 Years of "Limited Freedom"

A court in Kazakhstan has once more signaled the government’s disregard for...

Kazakhstan: Space for Civil Society Shrinking?

First, there was a media report hinting at shadowy links between foreign-funded...

Tajikistan: Court Dates for Jailed Anti-Corruption Officials Looming

Reports are now slowly filtering out in Tajikistan about the imminent trial...

Moscow Suggests Armenia Adopt Russian As Official Language

Russian officials have suggested that it might be a good idea for...

In Azerbaijan, Power and Poetry Mix

While Azerbaijan’s government has a reputation as being a petro-autocracy, behind the...

Georgia: Backsliding on Rule of Law Is Damaging Investment Climate

A recent wave of confiscatory moves against foreign investors in Georgia –...

Kazakhstan: Law Narrows Field for Presidential Contenders

Implausible as it might seem, a day will come when Kazakhstan will...

Kazakhstan: Almaty’s Motorists Feeling a Parking Pinch

When residents of an apartment block in a leafy area of Almaty,...

Trump on Georgia's Territorial Integrity: Not Much Interested?

They talked election meddling and...

Blogger in Distress in Azerbaijan

For the first time ever, a foreign citizen who visited breakaway Nagorno...

Time to Reset US Policy in the South Caucasus

Geopolitical conditions in the South Caucasus have experienced a substantial shift in...

Tajikistan: Taking State Snooping to the Next Level

For the past few weeks in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, teams of officials...

Can China Help GUAM Diversify Away from Russia?

Established in 1997, GUAM—a platform named after its members Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan,...

Georgia Fears Reputation for Hospitality at Risk over Azerbaijani Journalist's Kidnapping

Many Georgians perceive the recent kidnapping of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli from Tbilisi as...

Turkmenistan: President Calls Time on Welfare Benefits

The president of Turkmenistan has in a long-awaited move ordered an end...

Tajikistan Wages War on Dual-Citizenship Holders

Tajikistan’s National Bank has fired 30 employees for possessing dual citizenship....

Georgia: Dissident Snatching Dents Georgia’s Image

Georgia’s international standing has long benefited from being sandwiched between authoritarian countries,...

Kyrgyzstan: Parliament Seeks to Limit Election Observation

Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan have passed legislation that will greatly limit the rights...

Kazakhstan: Law on Religious Clothing in the Works

The government in Kazakhstan looks set to intensify its war on what...

Tajikistan’s Anti-Corruption Drive Sign of Internal Feud?

Even after weeks of a seemingly monumental wave of corruption-related arrests in...

Turkmenistan: Is Corruption Probe Sign of Government Panic?

A very public campaign against corruption in Turkmenistan is picking up steam...

Kazakhstan: Union Leader Gets 2-Year Jail Sentence

A labour union leader in Kazakhstan who helped mobilize oil workers into...

Kyrgyzstan: Ruling Party Nominates Presidential Candidate

Kyrgyzstan’s ruling Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan has picked incumbent prime minister...

Kyrgyzstan: Hapless Authorities Defeated by Lawless Traffic

Erbol and Alimbek, a pair of third-graders and lifelong friends, were on...

Saakashvili Gearing Up for Third Political Act

Talking to Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia and erstwhile governor...

Uzbekistan: Police to Place Cameras in Interrogation Rooms

Police in Uzbekistan will soon be required to install close circuit cameras...

Kyrgyzstan: President Bolsters Protections Against Domestic Violence

Kyrgyzstan has in a landmark decision adopted legislation designed to provide greater...

Turkey: In Winning Referendum, Erdoğan Loses Cities

Before he immersed himself in politics, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was...

Turkey-Armenia Ties Growing, Even As Historical Dispute Thwarts Reconciliation

A hundred or so mourners gathered on April 24 beneath heavy clouds...

Tajikistan: State Media Forced to Always Call President By Unwieldy Title

State media in Tajikistan are under strict instructions to start always referring...

China Mimics Central Asian States, Bans Long Beards in Restive Region

Chinese President Xi Jinping called recently for the creation of a “great...

Will There Be a Georgian Invasion of Europe?

Easter brings to Tbilisi the blessing of fewer people and less traffic,...

Uzbekistan: Police Shake-Up Part of Elite Struggle?

The police force in Uzbekistan is set for a reorganization that looks...

Tajikistan: Man Arrested for Slightly Disrespecting President

A man in northern Tajikistan has reportedly been arrested and potentially faces...

Yes, We Can’t! The Apathetic Business of the Armenian Elections

When voters re-elect an incumbent, it usually means the country is on...

Kazakhstan: Union Organizer Jailed for Helping Strikers

A court in Kazakhstan has sentenced a trade union activist to two-and-a-half...

Kyrgyzstan: Government Struggles to Reduce Landslide Threats

On the night of March 26 in the village of Nichke-Say in...

Armenia: Political Campaigns, Failing to Inspire Voters, Offer Cash

As voters head to the polls in Armenia’s parliamentary elections, they may...

Kazakhstan: California Court to Hear Almaty Corruption Lawsuit

Kazakhstan has successfully argued in a US appeals court that it can...

Kyrgyzstan: Police Suggest Expelling Foreigners Without Courts

The Interior Ministry in Kyrgyzstan is pushing for new rules that would...

Georgia: First Daughter Claims Drug Raid Aimed at President Giorgi Margvelashvili

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s daughter, Ana Margvelashvili, has accused the police of...

Azerbaijan: Government Watchdog Transforms Into Attack Dog

An hour into an interview, Eynulla Fatullayev pulls out a cigarette and...

Georgia’s Parking-Ticket Revolution

Parking tickets may be hated universally, but car owners in the Georgian...

Uzbekistan: Clamor Grows for Release of Activist

For almost two weeks, one of Uzbekistan’s best-known human rights activists has...

Kazakhstan: Pre-Soviet History Packed with Political Mines

Sitting in a modest, domed brick mausoleum, a bust of the partisan...

Georgia: With TV Station Takeover, Is Free Speech at Stake?

Journalists at Georgia’s last major opposition broadcasting company are digging in and...

Georgians Get Visa-Free Travel to EU, but to Russia? Not So Fast

After getting the green light for long-awaited visa-free travel to the European...