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Kubanychbek Joldoshev suffered head injuries and broken bones in the attack.
Kyrgyz journalist Kubanychbek Joldoshev says an attack that left him hospitalized with a concussion was politically motivated, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Joldoshev, 29, was severely beaten by three unknown assailants on November 2. He suffered head injuries and broken bones in the attack.

He told RFE/RL that the taxi he was in was stopped by police and the taxi driver taken away by them to check "to see if he was intoxicated."

Joldoshev said as soon as the police left with the taxi driver, three men approached the taxi and started beating him.

Local police officials deny that the attack was premeditated. They claim Joldoshev was slightly drunk himself, but said the police who took the taxi driver for a checkup are being investigated.

Turgunbay Jumabaev, the chief of the Investigations Committee in Osh, told RFE/RL that the attack is being considered an act of hooliganism.

Joldoshev is a correspondent for the local newspaper "Osh Shamy" (The Torch of Osh). He used to work as a correspondent for RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service.

The chief editor of "Osh Shamy," Turgunbay Aldakulov, told RFE/RL that he and his colleagues believe the attack is most likely connected with Joldoshev's professional activities and should not be investigated as an act of hooliganism.

The attack on him was the seventh against a journalist in Kyrgyzstan this year.

Abduvahab Moniev, an independent Kyrgyz journalist who was severely beaten by unknown assailants earlier this summer, told RFE/RL that none of his attackers was found.

Almaz Ismanov, who represents the regional Internet resource center "Oazis," told RFE/RL that after a local journalist was shot dead in Osh two years ago, local journalists have been reluctant to cover controversial issues.
Margulan Mukhambetov
The whereabouts of a Kazakh asylum seeker deported from the Czech Republic to Almaty remains unknown, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Margulan Mukhambetov was flown to Almaty on October 10 and handed over to Kazakh border guards.

He was reportedly met by people in civilian cothes at the airport, but has not been seen or heard from since.

His relatives and rights activists believe he is being detained by security officials.

Mukhambetov is one of some 200 Kazakhs who are followers of the Muslim branch of Salafism who have sought asylum in the Czech Republic since 2006.

The Salafi group members in the Czech Republic say they would be persecuted in Kazakhstan, where Salafism is viewed by the government as
extremist.

Czech authorities officially informed the Kazakhs in early October that they would be deported, saying that as Kazakhstan will chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in January, it would not persecute its citizens for their religious views.

Meanwhile, the Czech Interior Ministry has refused to comment to RFE/RL about Mukhambetov's deportation.

It has decided, though, to extend the deadline for many of the Kazakhs who are seeking asylum until summer 2010.

Ministry officials attributed their decision to extend the deadline to the large amount of documents immigration officers have to process.

Meanwhile, the pro-presidential Atameken (Fatherland) party issued on November 1 a letter calling for an official investigation into Mukhambetov's disappearance.

The letter, from Atameken chairman Yerzhan Dosmukhamedov, also urges Kazakhs to boycott Czech-made goods and vacations to Czech resorts because of that government's treatment of the Kazakh asylum seekers.

Salafism is a Sunni Islamic movement that takes the first practitioners of Islam as exemplary models.

Salafis do not recognize other branches of Islam. It was banned in Tajikistan in January.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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