5 august 2020

Central Asia news

Ten years ago our colleague Alisher Saipov fell victim to murder. Museum telling his story opens in Osh today

25.10.2017 23:02 msk


Human Rights Politics Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan

Alisher Saipov. Photo of Daniil Kislov

A museum dedicated to life and murder of a young and prominent journalist Alisher Saipov opens its doors in the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan, Osh city, where ten years ago, on 24 October, two bullets, the assassin shot at the journalist, stopped his independent voice.

It is a separate room in the house where the family of Alisher collected his personal belongings. On the hanger hangs a suit in which the journalist was on the day of the murder. Here you can see the books that Alisher liked to read, his photographic equipment, university degrees, certificates, copies of the newspaper he published...

Zainabhan Saipova, Alisher's mother, shows a suit in which her son was on 24 October 2007

Workplace of Alisher Saipov

Books and personal belongings of Alisher Saipov

Alisher Saipov is 26-year-old forever. The assassin shot him on the street when Alisher was catching a taxi. There were three shots: one bullet hit the leg, two more - the back of his head. The murder remains unsolved so far. Well, there is one convict in this case, but Saipov's family do not believe the authorities found the guilty one.

Zulaiho, the daughter of Alisher. She was only two months old when the tragedy hit her family

And the motivation of the murder of Alisher is quite obvious: his position killed him. He was a talented and brave political journalist. He covered the very beginning of the "March Revolution" in 2005 in Kyrgyzstan, told about the consequences of the "Andijan Tragedy" in Uzbekistan.

Alisher was Fergana News correspondent, Voice of America and Radio Liberty radio stations, worked as a stringer for other publications, established and led the Siyosat (Politika) newspaper shortly before his death. The edition published in Uzbek quickly gained popularity in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Sharp materials criticising the regime of Islam Karimov excited interest in neighbouring Uzbekistan, where readers could smuggle the paper. According to rumours, ten thousand US dollars bounty on Alisher Saipov's head could award a potential killer.

Alisher knew about it. He remained fearless.

Zainabhan Saipova with her granddaughter Zulaiho and son Shokhrukh, who replaced her father

Journalists Memorial in Washington DC immortalised Alisher's name in April 2008 on a memorial plaque paying tribute to the memory of journalists who died reporting the news. In Kyrgyzstan, colleagues of Alisher Saipov established a special prize named after him, who several years have been awarding young journalists who honestly and boldly do their job.

Day of Remembrance of Alisher Saipov, 24 October 2017

In 2017, the Saipov family decided to resume the release of the "Siyosat" newspaper and timed the release of the first issue on the day of the memory of its founder. On the eve of this date, the book "Siz Bilgan va Bilmagan Alisher Soipov" ("Alisher Saipov, about which you knew and did not know") came out. It contains all the publications of the late journalist. Soon they will appear on the website dedicated to Alisher Saipov.

The new issue of the "Siyosat" newspaper dedicated to Alisher

A book about Alisher Saipov

The Saipov family plans to hold a competition for young journalists named "Freedom of Speech in Kyrgyzstan" and award its winners with a prize named after Alisher Saipov.

Azattyk Radio produced a film remembering Alisher and ElTR, the state television and radio company, broadcasted it on 24 October. Soon its translation in English will be available.

A selection of photos of Alisher Saipov available in the Fergana News Gallery.

Photos by Shokhrukh Saipov and RFE / RL.

Fergana News Agency