OSCE media freedom representative condemns murder of independent journalist in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Materials 26 October 2007 12:36

( OSCE ) - The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, yesterday condemned the murder of Alisher Saipov, editor of the Uzbek language newspaper Siyosat ("Politics").

Saipov was killed on 24 October in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. According to reports, he was shot three times at close range.

"I am shocked and saddened by the brutal assassination of Alisher Saipov - one of the most promising young journalists from Kyrgyzstan, well known in his country and abroad," said Haraszti.

"I welcome the fact that the President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiev, took the investigation under his auspices. I trust the Kyrgyz authorities will pursue the investigation in a vigorous and transparent manner, so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice."

"This loss comes at a time when the murders of Georgiy Gongadze, Elmar Huseynov, Anna Politkovskaya and Hrant Dink are still fresh in our minds," Haraszti added. "Resolute action is needed to lend journalism the safe working conditions the OSCE is committed to."

Alisher Saipov, 26, an ethnic Uzbek, was a frequent contributor to the regional media outlet Ferghana and to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America. Saipov founded the Uzbek language newspaper Siyosat ("Politics"), which focuses on Kyrgyz and Uzbek current affairs.

Haraszti offered his condolences to the family of Alisher Saipov.