Accessibility links

Kazakh Police Say Kyrgyz Journalist's Murder Was Not Political

Mourners at the funeral in December 2009 of slain Kyrgyz opposition journalist Gennady Pavlyuk

Mourners at the funeral in December 2009 of slain Kyrgyz opposition journalist Gennady Pavlyuk

BISHKEK -- Kazakh police say an investigation into the killing of Kyrgyz journalist Gennady Pavlyuk in 2009 does not indicate it was politically motivated, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Pavlyuk, 51, was thrown with his arms and legs bound from a high-rise building in Almaty on December 16, 2009. He died in a hospital six days later.

Kazakh police said the investigation showed that the people who killed Pavlyuk were trying to get him to tell them the combination to a safe that held valuable gems.

Akhmat Alagushev, a lawyer who represents Pavlyuk's wife, confirmed to RFE/RL after seeing the results of the investigation that the findings do not indicate that Pavlyuk's murder was political.

Many of Pavlyuk's friends and relatives have dismissed the findings by Kazakh police and are unhappy that Kyrgyz officials are not investigating his murder, which they believe was ordered and planned in Kyrgyzstan.

Before traveling to Almaty, Pavlyuk had met with friend and political ally Omurbek Tekebaev, chairman of the Ata-Meken party, which was in fierce opposition to the Kyrgyz president at the time, Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Tekebaev told RFE/RL that Pavlyuk's murder was "for political reasons, it is absolutely clear to everyone."

He said he doubts that the Kyrgyz Security Service has cooperated closely with its Kazakh colleagues.

"Pavlyuk had been watched [by the Kyrgyz Security Service] and [his phone] tapped; even his visit to Almaty was controlled by the Kyrgyz Security Service," Tekebaev said. "Certainly the accused guys are not going to admit that they performed a political order [from Bakiev in murdering Pavlyuk]."

Pavlyuk, an ethnic Russian, was known in Kyrgyzstan under the pseudonym Rustam Ibragimbek. He founded the "White Steamer" newspaper and website and wrote for the newspaper "Vecherny Bishkek" (Evening Bishkek) and the Russian weekly "Argumenty i fakty."

Pavlyuk's friends, colleagues, and relatives say he was killed for his professional activities and his plans to set up an opposition website.

The Kazakh authorities announced in December 2010 -- one year after Pavlyuk's murder -- the arrest in Almaty of Kyrgyz citizen Aldayar Ismankulov as a suspect in the killing.

Read more in Kyrgyz here