Kyrgyzstan25 October 2007
Shock at fatal shooting of young freelance journalist in southern city
Reporters Without Borders is deeply shocked by the fatal shooting yesterday of Alisher Sayipov, a young freelance journalist and founder of the newspaper Sayasat (Politics). He was gunned down outside the premises of Radio Free Europe in the southern city of Osh at about 7 p.m. The police have began a criminal investigation and the president’s office has said it is following the case.
“Sayipov was a courageous and very professional journalist,” the press freedom organisation said. “We hope the Kyrgyz authorities will do everything possible to establish the circumstances of his death as quickly as possible.”
He was buried at 2:30 p.m. today in Osh in a funeral attended by several dozen people.
Marcus Bensmann, a journalist specialising in Central Asia who works for the Weltreporter (www.weltreporter.net) network and who was a friend of Sayipov, said he often covered sensitive issues in his articles.
Aged 26, Sayipov was critical of the way Uzbekistan is governed in the analyses he wrote for several news media including Sayasat, which was published and distributed on a regular basis inside the country.
According to information obtained by Reporters Without Borders that has not yet been confirmed, Sayipov recently received telephone threats.
Sayipov worked for various news media including fergana.ru, Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. He was married and was the father of a baby girl just a few months old. He was attacked by a customs officer on the Uzbek border in 2002 after the broadcast of a report in which he referred to corrupt practices by Uzbek customs officers.