Alisher Saipov is seen on October 24, 2007, the day he was killed. Kyrgyzstan authorities recently reopened an investigation into his killing. (Photo provided to CPJ by Saipov family)

Kyrgyzstan reopens investigation into 2007 killing of journalist Alisher Saipov

October 3, 2019 12:25 PM ET

Washington, D.C., October 3, 2019 -- Kyrgyzstan should conduct an open and thorough reinvestigation into the killing of journalist Alisher Saipov, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

On October 24, 2007, an unknown gunman shot and killed Saipov, founder and chief editor of the independent Uzbek-language weekly Siyosat, in the city of Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan, according to CPJ research. Authorities in Osh opened an investigation following the killing, but it was suspended in December 2013, according to those news reports.

Authorities have now reopened the investigation, according to news reports and Shohruh Saipov, the journalist’s brother, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app. The prosecutor general’s office made the decision to reopen the case on August 29, Saipov said.

“We welcome the Kyrgyz authorities’ decision to reopen the investigation into the brutal 2007 killing of journalist Alisher Saipov. Kyrgyzstan must hold all perpetrators, including the masterminds, to account,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said, in New York. “It’s been far too long for the Saipov family to await justice and for the perpetrators to remain at large.”

The journalist, who was 26 at the time he was killed, covered politics, religion, and social issues for his paper and contributed to regional and international news outlets, including Fergana, Voice of America, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, according to CPJ research. Prior to his death, Saipov had received anonymous threats warning him to stop his reporting activities, a source close to the journalist told CPJ at the time.

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