Kyrgyz journalist Syrgak Abdyldaev, who was severely beaten and knifed by unknown assailants earlier this month, has rejected a government official's statement that the attack was connected to his articles about the criminal world.
Opposition Ata Meken (Fatherland) party activist Jomart Saparbaev told RFE/RL that he visited Abdyldaev in the hospital on March 20, and that the journalist said his articles in the Bishkek-based newspaper "Reporter" covered politics, not criminal dealings. He said he therefore considers the attack against him to be politically motivated.
Interior Affairs Minister Moldomusa Kongantiev made the statement about the journalist's work on March 19.
Abdyldaev, who is well known for his analytical reports and commentaries criticizing the government, was severely beaten near his apartment on March 6 and suffered more than 20 knife wounds.