Stories written by Robert Stefanicki

Earthquakes Don’t Kill, Buildings Do – Or Is It Inequity?

70-year-old Chiute Tamang was working in his field when the earth shook on Apr 25. He grabbed a tree. His wife and daughter were inside the house at the time, but managed to run out. In the blink of an eye, the building turned into a heap of stones. They were the lucky ones.

Tibetans Divided Over Cult of Martyrs

Nestled in the Kangra Valley in the shadow of the Dhauladhar Mountains in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala is beautiful to behold. But the scenic landscape belies a dark reality: the cult of martyrs that has developed in this town, home to the Tibetan government-in-exile since 1959.

Bangladesh Workers Short of Compensation

Six months after the worst man-made disaster in Bangladesh’s history, safety conditions in garment factories have a chance to improve. But not the lives of survivors or the victims' next of kin.

Bangladesh Ailing After Aila

It has been four years since Cyclone Aila struck Bangladesh, triggering floods and widespread destruction. But the villagers of Koira subdistrict, among the worst affected of the 11 districts hit by the cyclone, are yet to recover from its impact.

100-Dollar Dream Teases Bangladesh Workers

On the industrial outskirts of Dhaka, which is dotted with big and small clothes factories, thousands of workers took to the streets demanding a minimum wage rise.

Imported Torture Haunts Poland

The only sign of life at Szymany’s "international airport" are mosquitoes eager to suck blood out of a rare visitor. The gate is locked with a rusted chain and a padlock.

Q&A: Guantanamo ‘Has No Right to Exist’

For more than 100 days, detainees at American detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been on hunger strike, drawing international attention back to the prison that U.S. President Barack Obama vowed during his first presidential campaign to close down.

Cold and Dusty But Safe

No other camp for Syrians match the size of Za’atari. Equal rows of tents marked with the UNHCR logo spread to the horizon, dotted with lanterns and water tanks. Only a handful of people remain in sight, mostly on their way to or from the bathrooms.

Migrants in Poland Find a Voice At Last

It took hunger strikes and a case like Layla Naimi’s to push authorities in Poland to amend laws dealing with irregular migrants.

Belarus Heads for Election, not Democracy

Belarusians will vote for a new, but still regime-controlled parliament on Sep. 23. At least those who do not respond to calls for boycotting the poll.

BELARUS: Political Prisoners Facing Oppression

"I had to fight to be treated like a human, not animal," dissident Nikolai Avtukhovich wrote from prison. Last month Avtukhovich, Belarusian political activist and entrepreneur, convicted to five years in the penal colony for illegal storage of five cartridges for a hunting rifle, cut his veins.

LIBYA: Poland Steps Into Arab Spring

As the first foreign official to visit Libya after the liberation announcement made by National Transitional Council, Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski tried to kill two birds with one stone.

A WWF picture of the reappearance of the grey seals. Credit:

BIODIVERSITY: Sealed With a Comeback

After 50 years of near absence, grey seals are coming back to Polish coast of Baltic Sea. Not everyone is happy about it.

Bialowieza forest. Credit: Robert Stefanicki

EUROPE: Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Disappearing

Surprising how dark it is here, even on a clear summer day. Centuries-old trees, some as high as a 15-floor house, allow only a little light to sift down to earth. Fallen trunks bar the muddy paths, and no less than 28 species of mosquitoes can't wait to suck your blood.


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