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Latest news on Democracy

AFGHANISTAN: Many candidates still linked to armed groups

KABUL, 24 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Despite significant progress on preparations for autumn polls, some candidates of Afghanistan’s upcoming parliamentary elections are still linked with armed groups and some are holding stocks of weapons, the United Nations and a local human rights body warned. Full report

PAKISTAN: Impoverished Christians face forced eviction

LAHORE, 18 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Hundreds of Christian residents in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore may be forced off their land in the face of soaring land values. The area, known as Yohanabad-II, was established in 1998 on the outskirts of the city as a model village but rumours of planned redevelopment of adjacent areas have created a problem for residents.Full report

UZBEKISTAN: Fear grips Andijan three months after killings

ANDIJAN, 18 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Three months after a violent government crack down on protests in the southeastern Uzbek city of Andijan, there is a palpable sense of fear on and off the streets, despite less soldiers seen in public and shops and office open as usual. People who witnessed the killing of up to 1,000 mainly unarmed civilians on 13 May in and around the city say they are burning inside but giving up hope of obtaining justice for the dead and injured.Full report

KYRGYZSTAN-UZBEKISTAN: Court overturns denial of refugee status to Uzbeks

BISHKEK, 18 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - An appeal to overturn a decision by the Kyrgyz migration department to deny refugee status to Uzbeks who fled violence in southeastern Uzbekistan was granted by a city court in the capital, Bishkek, on Thursday.Full report

NEPAL: New NGO law spells end of autonomy, say activists

KATHMANDU, 17 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Some national and international NGOs in Nepal say they are seriously concerned over the introduction of the Social Welfare (First Amendment) Ordinance 2005. The new government ruling was promulgated during the last week of July and gives new powers to the state to enable it to control and regulate programmes run by NGOs and their activities. Full report

AFGHANISTAN: Policies in short supply as election campaigning begins

KABUL, 17 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Sitting in a printing house in a dusty Kabul street, Ghani Mohamad, a 45-year-old candidate in Afghanistan's first democratic parliamentary elections next month, is about to launch his campaign. He's pondering what to put on his campaign poster that would capture the electorate's attention as campaigning began officially on Wednesday.Full report

AFGHANISTAN: Debate on justice reform

KABUL, 16 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - State institutions involved in the justice system along with the United Nations and other national and international organisations, are discussing justice reform at a three-day workshop that began on Monday in the capital, Kabul.Full report

AFGHANISTAN: Election logistics challenge begins

KABUL, 10 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - With less than seven weeks to next month's parliamentary elections, the UN-Afghan Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) has begun the monumental task of distributing election materials throughout post-conflict Afghanistan.Full report

PAKISTAN: Activists complain of bar on women to contest NWFP polls

ISLAMABAD, 3 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Rights activists have accused the authorities of failing to act on reports of women being barred from contesting upcoming local elections in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), a staunchly conservative area governed by a religious parties’ alliance.Full report

AFGHANISTAN: Women show greater interest in September polls

KABUL, 3 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - With less than seven weeks to September's historic parliamentary elections, women have shown greater interest in participating, the Afghan-UN joint electoral management body (JEMB) announced on Wednesday in the capital Kabul. Full report


IRIN Focuses & Interviews on Democracy

TAJIKISTAN: Interview with Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan

KYRGYZSTAN-UZBEKISTAN: Focus on Andijan asylum seekers

AFGHANISTAN: Interview with rural development minister

AFGHANISTAN: Interview with governor of isolated Nuristan province

AFGHANISTAN: Focus on rehabilitation of child soldiers

Related Internet Links

Afghanistan Online

The ICRC in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Reconstruction

Afghanistan Information Management Service

Conflict Prevention Initiative portal on Central Asia

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