(Washington, DC--October 26, 2007) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Jeffrey Gedmin expressed his dismay at the violent death Wednesday of newspaper editor Alisher Saipov in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. A Kyrgyzstan-based correspondent for RFE/RL's Uzbek Service in 2001 and 2002, Saipov was shot at close range outside of the office of his newspaper, "Siyosat" (Politics) in downtown Osh.
Gedmin said, "Saipov's death is yet another blow to the cause of professional, independent journalism in Central Asia. Even after he ended his formal association with RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Alisher continued as a regular guest on programs addressing human rights, media freedom and political developments in Uzbekistan. Our relationship deepened when Alisher agreed to reprint Uzbek Service content on the pages of his newspaper. Alisher will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends at RFE/RL."
Saipov, age 26, was a native of Osh. He leaves behind his wife and three-month-old daughter.