Tajikistan

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Uzbek president Islam Karimov is believed to have had a stroke. Some journalists citing reliable sources say he is dead and succession plans are secretly being made. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/AFP/Getty Images

Since emerging from the ruins of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago, central Asian states have rarely, if ever, marked their sovereignty amid(...)

 Uzbek President Islam Karimov speaks during a joint news conference at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Authoritarian Uzbek leader Islam Karimov is in stable condition in an intensive care ward after suffering a brain haemorrhage on Saturday, his daughte(...)

Frustrated, gentle reader, by the obscurantism of, or perhaps bewildered by, the dazzling erudition of your favourite newspaper’s columnists? Take hea(...)

Independent Afghan civil society activist women carry the coffin of Farkhunda on   March 22nd,  2015. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

Farkhunda had one chance to escape the mob that wanted to kill her. Two Afghan police officers pulled her onto the roof of a low shed, above the angry(...)

 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(...)

Independent Afghan civil society activist women carry the coffin of Farkhunda. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

Farkhunda had one chance to escape the mob that wanted to kill her. Two Afghan police officers pulled her on to the roof of a low shed, above the angr(...)

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(...)

Afghan special forces preparing to launch a counteroffensive to retake the city of Kunduz from Taliban insurgents. Photograph: Nasir Waqif/AFP/Getty Images

From the early days of his presidency last year, President Ashraf Ghani knew he faced a national security threat in the northern Afghan province of Ku(...)

Afghan military personnel walk near the airport during fighting between Taliban militants and Afghan security forces in Kunduz. Photograph: Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

Afghan government forces on Thursday rallied for the first time to try to retake the city of Kunduz from Taliban fighters, engaging in heavy fighting (...)

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