The shrinking of U.S. power, now pretty much taken for granted and in some quarters relished, may hurt news coverage of human rights and the uncovering of abuses to them. But not necessarily. Journalism is showing itself to be resilient in adversity, and its core tasks – to illuminate the workings of power and to be diverse in its opinions – could prove to be more than “Western” impositions.
(Photo: Workers clean blood from the sidewalk outside the parliament building in Grozny October 19, 2010 following a suicide attack there that killed four people/Kazbek Basayev)
Militants waging an Islamist insurgency in Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus region have proposed using either Arabic or a Turkic language as a lingua franca for their affairs. The insurgents now communicate with each other largely in Russian, also the main language of the dozen or so Islamist web sites they are affiliated with, and of their video addresses.
Aspects of sharia law imposed in Muslim Chechnya in recent months are inching the republic closer to autonomy and posing a renewed threat to Kremlin control, analysts say. The Kremlin relies on its hardline Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to maintain order in the violent region in the North Caucasus, where separatists were driven from power a decade ago after two wars.
The Kremlin-backed head of Russia’s Muslim Chechnya region has praised assailants who targeted women with paintball pellets for going bareheaded, prompting outrage from rights activists. Eyewitnesses have said men in camouflage, often worn by police and security forces in the volatile region, fired paintball guns from cars about a dozen times last month at women who were not wearing headscarves.
Women in Russia’s volatile Muslim Chechnya region say that police have targeted them with paintball pellets for not wearing headscarves, outraging rights activists. The attacks highlight tension over efforts by Chechnya’s firebrand Moscow-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to enforce Muslim-inspired rules that in some cases violate Russia’s constitution.
Adam, 52, keeps his three wives in different towns to stop them squabbling, but the white-bearded Chechen adds he might soon take a fourth. “Chechnya is Muslim, so this is our right as men. They (the wives) spend time together, but do not always see eye to eye,” said the soft-spoken pensioner, who only gave his first name.