03/29/2022, 09.24
ASIA TODAY
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Chhattisgarh, Protestant pastors arrested on charges of forced conversions

Today's headlines: the Kremlin suspends publication of Novaya Gazeta, the country's last "independent" voice; isolated from the West, Moscow looks to China, forming a "Coordination Council" with Beijing; after 25 years, former Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov "goes on holiday"; the debate on no-confidence for the Pakistani prime minister is underway; Aung San Suu Kyi in quarantine after contact with a Covid-19 positive. 

INDIA

Two Christian pastors were arrested in Chhattisgarh, central India, on charges of forced conversions. A crowd of Hindu radicals broke into the prayer house in the village of Rajouti and attacked the community gathered for Sunday services. At the same time, at least 15 officers detained the two religious leaders, who are currently being held in Jaspur prison.

RUSSIA

After a series of pressures from State bodies, Novaya Gazeta also decided to suspend publication. The magazine of Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov was practically the last independent voice in the world of information in today's Russia. 

RUSSIA - CHINA

As a result of Western sanctions, Moscow has decided to "broaden the base of analysis and in-depth knowledge of China", as the director of the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Kirill Babaev, explained. In this regard, a "Coordination Council" on China will be formed, involving all the country's specialists.

TURKMENISTAN

Former President "Arkadag" (Protector) Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov officially asked his son Serdar, his successor, to be allowed to "go on holiday after 25 years" in order to devote himself to writing books, studying the issue of "dialogue between women in Asian countries" and preparing for the Central Asian-Russian Forum planned for this year. Serdar officially granted the unlimited holiday.

AFGHANISTAN

After women, the Taliban has also imposed new rules for civil servants, who will have to wear a beard and adhere to a dress code on pain of dismissal. Representatives of the Ministry of Islamic "morality" patrol the entrances, making sure the rules are respected. They are also required to pray at the time prescribed by the dictates of the Muslim faith.

MYANMAR

Former Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi is quarantined and did not attend hearings in the trial brought by the coup junta because she was in contact with a Covid-19 positive. The infection has emerged among the staff of the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has already been convicted on other charges. At the moment she is not believed to be infected, but there is growing concern due to the lack of official information. 

PAKISTAN

In Pakistan, a no-confidence motion presented by the opposition against Prime Minister Imran Khan, with the aim of bringing down the government, will be debated on 31 March. The former cricket champion, now in politics,is being targeted by his critics for mismanaging the economy. The vote will be held within a week. The opposition would have the 172 votes (out of 342) needed to challenge him. 

TURKEY

Last year, at least 115 journalists in Turkey suffered physical violence related to their work and one was killed. Three out of five received threats in the course of their careers. A study by the Turkish Journalists Association (Tgc) revealed that 241 journalists appeared before a judge and 73 were arrested. At the end of 2021 there were 44 journalists in prison serving sentences.  

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