Kyrgyzstan: Ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir uulu condemns Tashkent for Alisher Saipov's assassination
Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir uulu called a press conference in Bishkek today to pronounce once again that "official Tashkent is involved in assassination of journalist Alisher Saipov."
"First, Saipov posed no danger to Kyrgyzstan because he mostly covered the problems of Uzbekistan," the ombudsman said. "Second, it is usually businessmen and deputies who get assassinated in Kyrgyzstan and Saipov was neither. Third, the Interior Ministry and National Security State Committee confirm that this logic is sound. They examined information on the hard disk of Saipov's computer and announced that it included letters, data, books, and flyers of Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The conclusion to be drawn is obvious. Kyrgyzstan is not involved in the assassination."
The Kyrgyz ombudsman went public with his suspicions with regard to Uzbek secret services' involvement right after the assassination. Interviewed by the BBC Uzbek Service, Bakir uulu made a reference to information obtained from Kyrgyz secret services.
Saipov, 26, represented Ferghana.Ru news agency in the southern part of Kyrgyzstan and ran Ferghana.Ru Bureau in Osh in 2006-2007. A citizen of Kyrgyzstan, he was an ethnic Uzbek. Unidentified criminals shot Saipov in the street on October 24.
Harassed by the Uzbek authorities, Saipov had been one of the few journalists in the region to cover the situation with human rights in Uzbekistan.
Official Uzbek media outlets branded Saipov as a "traitor". Independent Internet in Uzbekistan mostly blocked, copies of Saipov's Politics newspaper did make Uzbekistan.
Saipov's assassination stirred the international community (EU, UN) and human rights organizations.