Prisoners for Peace Day 2002 focuses on a region - or maybe we should say two regions - which normally do not receive much attention from the peace movement, or from the public in general: the Caucasus and Central Asia. It is high time the peace movement took notice of these regions - the military and the global oil business quietly managed to get in there already.
How the list works
First are prisoners' names (in bold), followed by their sentence (normally in international yyyy/mm/dd format), then their place of imprisonment -- prisoners held in the same location for the same reason are grouped together -- and, finally the reason for their detention (in italics).
Information about countries where prisoners have had their sentences suspended, or where sentences have been served or completed during the year are also given in brief explanatory paragraphs.
On 1 December, put aside
In the region of Caucasus and Central Asia, no country offers a free choice between military service and alternative service, most of them even having no legal basis for a substitute service at all. The few states that passed a law on some kind of alternative service haven't implemented it according to international standards: in Georgia, substitute service isn't available in practice and in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, large bribes are necessary to perform it.
International interest in the resource-rich former Soviet states in Central Asia and the Caucasus has surged over the past decade. Why has Caspian oil and gas suddenly become so significant to the global energy market? What are the consequences for the region's inhabitants as they struggle to forge fledgling democracies?