Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

1 Jul 16

Yet Another Amnesty in Azerbaijan

Observers warn that the crackdown on dissenters continues.
Local and international observers have dismissed Azerbaijan’s latest prisoner amnesty, noting that no political detainees are set to be included.

Azerbaijan: Alarming Rise in Suicide

Figures have quadrupled since 2008, largely attributed to social problems and injustice.
A fourfold rise in the number of suicides in Azerbaijan has alarmed experts who warn that this cannot be blamed on the recent economic crisis alone.

Armenia Prepares for a Papal Visit

The event has national as well as spiritual significance for the region’s smallest country.
The imminent visit of Pope Francis to Armenia has highlighted debate over the secular versus the religious nature of the state.

Does Tajik Journalism Face Extinction?

Credible reporting is disappearing from the public discourse.
Freedom of speech in Tajikistan is in crisis, with the state strengthening its control over the media and independent outlets increasingly unwilling to take any risks with their content.

Afghan Women Take on Farming

Small-scale agricultural ventures are changing attitudes as well as boosting incomes.
Peaches, apricots and apples have transformed life for Nadia, a 32-year-old from the village of Tajikan in the northern province of Baghlan.

Kyrgyzstan: Islam and Secularism Clash Again

Faith has been growing as a force in the country ever since independence.
Proposed legislation that would extend lunch breaks from one to two hours to allow time for Muslim prayers have highlighted tensions between secularism and religion in Kyrgyzstan.

20 Jun 16

Uzbekistan's Latest Answer to Facebook

The government wants to control people’s lives both online and offline.
The launch of yet another state-run social media site in Uzbekistan has served to highlight Tashkent’s contradictory approach to regime control of the internet.

It's Hard to be a Punk in Tajikistan

Economic troubles and official disapproval takes its toll on a dwindling subculture.
People stare when Mahina walks along the streets of Dushanbe. Dressed in denim and black leather accessoried with studded jewellery and facial piercings, the punk look cultivated by Mahina and her friends is a rare sight in the Tajik capital.

Opposition Over Russian-Armenian Air Defence

Fears that Moscow cannot be trusted as a guarantor of national security.
Critics of a proposed shared Armenian-Russian air defence system have continued to warn that Yerevan is risking the country’s sovereignty by pressing forward with the agreement.

Boosting Georgian Regional Media

This key sector can play an important role in supporting rule of law and combating radicalisation.
A group of young journalists from the regions of Georgia have received vital training in responsible reporting and countering violent extremism (CVE) as part of a joint IWPR initiative with a Lithuanian NGO.

Afghanistan: Stealing Chickens From Widows

Warnings that small-scale development projects are falling victim to corruption.
Locals in the southern province of Khost have complained that powerful men are exploiting their connections to routinely siphon off aid intended for needy women.

Afghan Province Sees More Women Teachers

Development seen as a long-overdue boost for improving girls’ education.
The number of female teachers working in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar has significantly grown over the last two years, according to local officials.

Afghan Police: More Female Officers Needed

Ongoing violence and social prejudice has led to a severe deficit of policewomen.
Conservative traditions and family opposition are still preventing women from signing up to the Afghan police force, according to speakers at an IWPR debate in Parwan province.

26 May 16

Kazak State Cracks Down on Dissent

Protestors and journalists arrested after public anger at farmland reforms.
Kazakstan has seen the worst social unrest in years over proposed land legislation that many citizens see as threatening their national sovereignty.

Uzbekistan’s Fragile Rural Idyll

The countryside may be beautiful, but its communities face an uncertain future.
Uzbekistan, with a population of 31.5 million, remains a largely agricultural society. The majority of people live in rural areas and a full quarter of the population work in farming, which is still largely unmechanised.

Azerbaijan: Happy Slaves' Day

Drugs charges used as pretext for detaining men who vandalised a public monument.
Experts say that the arrest and ill treatment of two activists who defaced a statue of former president Heydar Aliyev has highlighted a growing cult of personality in an increasingly repressive Azerbaijan.

IWPR Holds Landmark Afghan Peace Conference

Three-day event leads to proposals for building a better future for Afghanistan.
A groundbreaking conference organised by IWPR in Kabul has produced new recommendations on how the Afghan government can move forward with the reconciliation process.

Afghan Women Excluded From Public Life

Event hears how gender discrimination continues to be perpetuated.
Women need to actively demand their rights so as to play a part in Afghanistan’s social and political life, according to speakers at an IWPR debate in the eastern province of Logar.

Child Labour on the Rise in Opposition Areas

The war means that many under-age workers are now their families' bread-winners.
Khalid is 12 years old and works as a shepherd in the village of Kafruma in Idlib’s countryside.

Supporting Syria's Livestock Sector

Sheep and poultry farming have been hard hit by the ongoing conflict.
Abu Jawad had always relied on his income from sheep farming. But as the conflict in Syria took its toll, he was horrified to see his animals dying due to a lack of vaccinations and the rising costs of drugs and treatment.

A Wound That Will Never Heal

Some injuries are emotional as well as physical.
With anguish in her eyes and sighing deeply, Asma al-Aahi recalls the first few years of the war in her city of Maarat al-Numan.

Kfar Nabel's Junior Footballers Strike Out

Making dreams come true for young players.
Jamil al-Saloom developed a passion for football when he was a child, and joined the al-Numan club in 2007 when he was 13 years old. He spent years practicing and playing in the team’s matches, but was forced to stop playing when the Syrian revolution erupted.

A Devastating Loss

Sometimes grief is too much to bear.
Abdalla and Sahar had been married for ten years when they found out they were expecting twins. The couple felt that their prayers had finally been answered; their lives would now be complete.

16 May 16

Cuban Officials in Panama Papers

Leaked data reveals the existence of dozens of businesses associated with senior figures.
Officials from Cuba’s Communist party used a Swiss lawyer to establish offshore companies for their global business activities, the so-called Panama Papers have revealed.

Kazakstan: Hipsters of the Steppe

Young creatives are pursuing a niche look, accessorised with iPhones and fuelled by chai lattes.
Anton, a 26-year-old photographer from Almaty, has a personal style that’s intended to look thrown together but makes him instantly stand out from the crowd.

Filipinos Look to Strongmen to Bring Change

Public hope anti-establishment figures will deliver what current government has failed to do.
A gun-toting, loudmouth mayor and the son of a former dictator look set to win the two top posts in the Philippines’ May 9 elections.

Kyrgyz Public Bored by Politics

The region’s most progressive democracy is failing to impress ordinary people.
Kyrgyz experts are reporting rising public disillusionment with politics after the country’s prime minister resigned after just 11 months in office – the average term served by all premiers since independence.

Georgians Long to Visit South Ossetia

People cut off by the de facto border still want to visit cemeteries on the other side.
Georgians living in regions adjoining the breakaway territory of South Ossetia have once again been unable to pay their traditional Easter visit to the graves of loved ones buried across the administrative border.

Warm Welcome for Syrian Armenians

Thousands of incomers feel they are returning to their historic homeland.
Amid the refugee crisis sparked by the Syrian civil war, the fate of some 17,000 Armenians from Syria who have sought sanctuary in Armenia stands out as a rare example of integration.

Solidarity with Syria's Besieged

Volunteers may have little themselves, but they still want to help others.
On January 7, 2016, Shaima donated her family’s entire daily food allowance to the Molham organisation towards aid for the besieged residents of Madaya.

Syria’s Modern Mud Villages

A new project is helping to house the displaced.
Displaced from Hama’s countryside, Ahmad al-Sheikh was so desperate to find a new home for his family that he was preparing to buy a tent just to provide some shelter.

A Long and Dangerous Journey Home

What should have been a simple trip descends into terror.
On the final day of my university exams in July 2014, I packed my bags and bid my friends goodbye. It was time to make the long journey back home to Kfar Nabel.

5 May 16

IWPR Films Shortlisted for Award

Features tell stories of reconciliation and justice in a society still struggling to overcome ethnic divisions.
Two IWPR documentaries on the legacy of the 1992-1995 civil war have been shortlisted for an award at a Bosnian film festival.

Afghan Girls Demand Respect

Conservative traditions in the southern province of Kandahar mean that sons are valued over daughters.
Gul Ghutay has two brothers and three sisters. But her father, she said, only cared about his sons and barely acknowledged his daughters.

Afghan Women Leaving Journalism

A combination of rising violence and family pressure means that the numbers of female reporters are dwindling.
Hila used to love her job at a privately-owned radio station in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar. She was heartbroken when the deteriorating security situation forced to give up her work as a journalist.

Abkhazia, Georgia's Energy Security at Risk

The Inguri hydroelectric power plant badly needs repairs that would put it out of action for months if not years.
The prospect of large-scale repair work on the Inguri hydroelectric station, crucial for power supplies to both Georgia and Abkhazia, have raised questions about the neighbouring territories’ energy security.

Fighting Against Torture in Tajikistan

Hopes that new legislation will help change culture of impunity.
Although Tajikistan is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Torture, human rights experts say that mistreatment and abuse is still rife within the state system.

A Futile War

A bomb shatters one family's future.
My family and I had just finished lunch, and my husband and I were enjoying a pleasant evening together, sipping coffee and discussing the preparations for our daughter’s engagement party.

Surviving Assad’s Prisons

One woman's story of brutality and abuse in detention.
Her name is Abeer. She is from Maarat al-Numan, and this is the story of the torment she suffered while detained by the Syrian government.

The Birth of A New Hope

Joy and pain mingle in a city under siege.
My first baby was almost due, and I had just been to see the doctor for a final examination.

Restoring Dignity to Idlib's Jobless

New project aims to combat culture of dependency among local youth.
Queues of people, young and old, waiting for food aid have become a common sight in Idlib. The conflict has led to the systematic destruction of Idlib’s infrastructure and high rates of unemployment.

18 Mar 16

A Dream of Going Home

A Syrian woman finds her home city of Idlib horribly changed.
It was the summer of 2015, and the Turkish government had just announced that it would open its borders with Syria during the Eid holiday period. I could barely contain my excitement at the news.

Syria: Reopening Idlib's Schools

A new initiative is giving many young people the chance to finish their education.
Fuad al-Yusef wakes up filled with excitement each morning at the prospect of going to school. A new initiative has given him the chance to continue his education.

Syria: Farmers Harness the Power of the Sun

Solar energy is proving to be a blessing in Idlib’s western countryside.
Before the revolution, Ahmad al-Sulayman grew apple trees on a five-acre piece of land in Idlib’s countryside. Watered by an artesian well, his orchard flourished.

Bitter Winter Bites for Displaced Syrians

Families have been suffering through rain and snow with minimal heating supplies.
Freezing winter conditions have made the last few months particularly difficult for displaced Syrians living in camps in Idlib’s countryside.

Afghan Debates Hold Media to Account

Speakers say that public trust can only be won through a higher degree of professionalism.
The growth of a flourishing media sector in Afghanistan has been hailed as one of the country’s most notable achievements since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

18 Mar 16

A Dream of Going Home

A Syrian woman finds her home city of Idlib horribly changed.
It was the summer of 2015, and the Turkish government had just announced that it would open its borders with Syria during the Eid holiday period. I could barely contain my excitement at the news.

Syria: Reopening Idlib's Schools

A new initiative is giving many young people the chance to finish their education.
Fuad al-Yusef wakes up filled with excitement each morning at the prospect of going to school. A new initiative has given him the chance to continue his education.

Syria: Farmers Harness the Power of the Sun

Solar energy is proving to be a blessing in Idlib’s western countryside.
Before the revolution, Ahmad al-Sulayman grew apple trees on a five-acre piece of land in Idlib’s countryside. Watered by an artesian well, his orchard flourished.

Bitter Winter Bites for Displaced Syrians

Families have been suffering through rain and snow with minimal heating supplies.
Freezing winter conditions have made the last few months particularly difficult for displaced Syrians living in camps in Idlib’s countryside.

Afghan Debates Hold Media to Account

Speakers say that public trust can only be won through a higher degree of professionalism.
The growth of a flourishing media sector in Afghanistan has been hailed as one of the country’s most notable achievements since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

18 Mar 16

A Dream of Going Home

A Syrian woman finds her home city of Idlib horribly changed.
It was the summer of 2015, and the Turkish government had just announced that it would open its borders with Syria during the Eid holiday period. I could barely contain my excitement at the news.

Syria: Reopening Idlib's Schools

A new initiative is giving many young people the chance to finish their education.
Fuad al-Yusef wakes up filled with excitement each morning at the prospect of going to school. A new initiative has given him the chance to continue his education.

Syria: Farmers Harness the Power of the Sun

Solar energy is proving to be a blessing in Idlib’s western countryside.
Before the revolution, Ahmad al-Sulayman grew apple trees on a five-acre piece of land in Idlib’s countryside. Watered by an artesian well, his orchard flourished.

Bitter Winter Bites for Displaced Syrians

Families have been suffering through rain and snow with minimal heating supplies.
Freezing winter conditions have made the last few months particularly difficult for displaced Syrians living in camps in Idlib’s countryside.

Afghan Debates Hold Media to Account

Speakers say that public trust can only be won through a higher degree of professionalism.
The growth of a flourishing media sector in Afghanistan has been hailed as one of the country’s most notable achievements since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

18 Mar 16

Afghan Debates Hold Media to Account

Speakers say that public trust can only be won through a higher degree of professionalism.
The growth of a flourishing media sector in Afghanistan has been hailed as one of the country’s most notable achievements since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

Afghan Women Speak Out Against Violence

Event told that gender discrimination comes in many forms.
A recent IWPR debate in the northern Afghanistan province of Samangan heard that institutional corruption, unemployment and poverty were all factors fuelling rising rates of abuse against women.

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