Recent progress in e-governance in Azerbaijan has dramatically reduced petty corruption in many sectors. But for those visiting public hospitals, sending their children to kindergarten, or dealing with the traffic police — the problem of bribery can still be a part of daily life. [Read more…]
Georgians’ abnormal levels of exposure to lead show that the food they eat and the air they breathe might be toxic — all while the authorities seem reluctant to address the problem. [Read more…]
Russia’s Minister of North Caucasus Affairs has accused the subjects of the North Caucasus Federal District of stealing gas and electricity and chronic non-payment. But many locals say the utility bills are beyond what they can pay.
Prisoners from the Caucasus in Russian jails receive a ‘special treatment’ of beatings, bullying, and torture from both prison authorities and their fellow inmates. But in the ‘green zone’ prisons, where Muslim inmates have developed a system of resistance — the North Caucasians are fighting back.
Struggling to make ends meet, many Georgian pensioners end up relying on donations from charities or support from relatives or kind neighbours. Places in care homes are few and far between and even the state-run Soviet-era institutions are no longer taking in residents. The government is set to introduce a new pension contribution scheme but critics argue it doesn’t go far enough. [Read more…]
Changes to the leadership and rules surrounding Azerbaijan’s Bar Association have left a number of prominent human rights lawyers unable to practice their trade. Independent journalists and opposition politicians say they are being left defenceless against political prosecutions, with one prominent human rights defender claiming just six lawyers now represent 150 political prisoners.
Shanghai, the nickname of a small district running alongside Baku’s main railway line, is set to be demolished, and the tracks fenced off in the houses’ place. While locals tell of the tragic deaths of children hit by trains in Shanghai, some say the compensation offered by the government for demolishing their homes is not enough to move elsewhere in the city.
Today marks Adygea’s 20th annual celebration of the Day of the Repatriate, honouring the Circassians who returned to their ancestral land after more than 150 years in exile. Many in Adygea say there is little reason to celebrate, however, as few are able to settle in the republic.
Nearly five years after the Azerbaijani government began a renewed crackdown on dissenting voices, the environment remains hostile for opposition parties. The authorities create the semblance of a multi-party system by financing political parties whose role is to function as the opposition while maintaining the status quo. Some fear that suppressing genuine opposition and excluding it from the political arena will lead to more radical forms of activism, which could ultimately be damaging for the state.
The lack of job opportunities and development prospects in the rural regions of Azerbaijan has provoked a population influx to the capital, and the rapid growth of Baku’s population has increased the load on the city’s infrastructure. Problems faced by the metropolis and its inhabitants include gas cutoffs, waste management issues, water shortages, and traffic jams. [Read more…]