Too much news?

The last week has been unprecedented in global news – although I do feel that every time we see the word unprecedented to refer to current events we’re just tempting fate to make it even worse. Our news has been dominated by crucially important and life-changing stories – the economic turmoil in the UK; the impact of global inflation; the real-life effects of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian on the east coast of Canada and the USA; Putin’s annexation of four more Ukrainian territories; the election of the most right-wing prime minister since Mussolini in Italy and; the suspected nation-state-orchestrated sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines. This has been a busy news week. But beyond the headlines there have been so many other stories, other crises, other issues that in a ‘normal’ week (if there is such a thing anymore) would have demanded our attention.

So this week – I want to do a round-up of what we’ve missed as the world has become an even scarier place for too many people. To remind us all of what else is happening in the world that we’ve missed as we have been glued to the news that is struggling to report on everything that has happened.

These are just a few of the dozens of stories that many of us missed this week while the world is in turmoil. As ever the role of Index is to make sure that these stories and those of dissidents are not ignored or forgotten.

“Who is going to try to seize power?” Caroline Eden talks to Index from Kyrgyzstan



Kyrgyzstan has been plunged into chaos this week after parliamentary election results on Monday led to wide-scale protests throughout the country, which have seen the prime minister resign as a result.

Protests began as soon as the results were announced and quickly became violent, with protesters storming the parliament building and setting parts of it on fire. “By 9 o’clock there were the sounds of explosions and grenades,” said journalist and writer Caroline Eden in our interview with her, who has been watching the protests unfold from the capital city Bishkek.

One group managed to break into prison and release former president President Atambayev from jail, where he was serving a sentence for corruption. Hundreds have been injured in the protests and one person has died.

Many in the country felt the elections were irrelevant even before they took place, and some had called for them to be postponed due to the Covid pandemic. Despite this, the elections went ahead but arguments between the current and former leaders of the governing Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan meant that the party did not take part, with many smaller splinter groups taking its  place.

In the event, just four parties on the ballot managed to get a big enough share of the vote to win some of the 120 seats in parliament that were up for grabs. The party that won the smallest number of seats – just 13 – was the only one of the four that were in opposition to the incumbents.

The Central Electoral Commission annulled the result a day later.

Listen to Eden’s interview in full  about the atmosphere on the ground and what it all means for freedoms in the country.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][three_column_post title=”You might also like to read” category_id=”581″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Podcast: The Disappeared: How people, books and ideas are taken away, with Oliver Farry and Michella Oré

In our autumn 2020 podcast we speak with Hong Kong-based journalist Oliver Farry, who discusses the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in the region, which was once a beacon of free expression. And New York-based journalist Michella Oré tells us why, even if Donald Trump doesn’t win a second presidential term, his stint in The White House has sparked a fire in the USA which will be hard to put out. Also Jemimah Steinfeld and Orna Herr from the Index editorial team discuss their favourite articles from the new magazine.

Print copies of the magazine are available via print subscription or digital subscription through Exact Editions. Each magazine sale helps Index on Censorship continue its fight for free expression worldwide.

Interview with Justice for Journalists’ Maria Ordzhonikidze: how Russia is using Covid to clamp down on the media


In March 2020, Index on Censorship partnered with Justice for Journalists Foundation to keep track of attacks on media freedom under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Four months on and the project has recorded more than 230 physical and verbal assaults, detentions and arrests and fines around the world. Authoritarian governments are increasingly using the pandemic to clamp down on media freedom. The largest number of incidents are in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Here associate editor Mark Frary talks to JFJ’s director Maria Ordzhonikidze about why media freedom is in decline in the region.

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