Mary Lawlor, founder and director of Front Line Defenders: “Ireland and the EU must be as strong speaking up for human rights defenders in countries where they have political and strategic interests as they are when it comes to the usual suspects,” she said. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Some 157 human rights activists were killed or died in detention in 25 countries last year, according to the advocacy group Front Line Defenders. T(...)

Horse wrestling: a traditional nomad existence gave the Kyrgyz the horseback prowess associated with the most famous central Asian, Ghengis Khan. Today the national sport of Kyrgyzstan is wrestling  and a gory form of polo involving a sheep’s headless carcass. Photograph: Jonathan Korowicz

The market in Bishkek is a mayhem of spices, meat and dowdy attire. You want a lock, glue or fresh pistachios? Some “atum” ground chilli or perhaps a (...)

Iranians walk past a banner showing a portrait of  soldiers killed by Islamic State militants during a mission in  Aleppo in Syria. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iran will be invited to participate in talks in Vienna on Friday to discuss ending the conflict in Syria and establishing a framework for political tr(...)

Michael Conlan, from Belfast, with his daughter Luisne (three months) and the gold medal he won in the Boxing world championship in Doha, at Dublin Airport, Friday, October 16th, 2015. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

We live in a golden age of Irish boxing - and none more golden than the medal around the neck of new world champion Michael Conlan. He was greeted at(...)

Police officers attempt to negotiate with people taking part in a protest to block the arrival of military vehicles to the upcoming arms fair at the ExCel centre in east London. Photograph: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

More than 30,000 visitors are expected next week at the biannual arms fair organised by Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) at the ExC(...)

 Sepp Blatter reveals Russia as holders for the 2018 World Cup on December 2nd, 2010, in Zurich. Workers at the Zenit arena say they haven’t received payment in months. File photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Labourers working on one of Russia’s World Cup venues are complaining that they have not been paid for months, despite the budget for the arena increa(...)

The  Nukus museum, Uzbekistan is one of the most remote galleries in the world and houses   the largest body of Russian avant garde paintings outside Saint Petersburg’s Russian museum. Photograph: Chip HIRES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Uzbekistan has fired the long-standing director of its renowned museum in Nukus, raising fears about the safety of a vast treasure trove of art housed(...)

The men, all friends from Wesley College in Ballinteer, worked for a year to save money to buy the 2006 Honda CRV which they will now leave behind as a community vehicle in Mongolia. Photograph: 46A to Mongolia Facebook page

Five men, 20 countries, three deserts, two seas - “one crazy idea”. Whether it’s staying in Soviet-era hotels, bribing border guards with cigarettes o(...)

Data presented at the recent European Obesity Congress by the World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that 85 per cent of Irish women will be overwei(...)

In terms of obesity alone, the estimates show a big jump for women in the Irish Republic, soaring from 23 per cent to 57 per cent. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

Ireland is on course to become the most obese country in Europe, according to the latest figures from World Health Organisation (WHO) experts.Europe i(...)