Monday, April 09, 2012 -
The Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan overturned on Monday a murder conviction in the death of an Uzbek journalist and ordered a new investigation.
Alisher Saipov, 26, was murdered in the southern Kyrgyz city Osh in 2007. Saipov worked for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and the Voice of Russia, as well as editing his own newspaper which sharply criticized the Uzbek regime run by strongman Islam Karimov.
Saipov called attention to torture in Uzbek prisons and how stringently authorities cracked down on dissent in Uzbekistan.
A drug trafficker was originally convicted in Saidov’s death, despite the belief by many activists in the region that the journalist was targeted and killed by Uzbek security services, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported on Monday.
The case will be sent back to the lower Osh court to be reviewed.
Saipov lived in southern Kyrgyzstan, where a large Uzbek minority lives. Southern Kyrgyzstan sits in the fractious Ferghana Valley, which intersects with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with ill-defined and poorly reinforced borders.