Attacks on journalists are common in Kyrgyzstan. Attacks on Uzbeks are also common. Ergo, there is nothing surprising about an attack on an Uzbek journalist.
Shokhrukh Saipov was violently attacked in broad daylight on August 10. Saipov, 26, publishes UZpress.kg, which has reported on simmering ethnic tensions between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan since violence last year left over 400 people, mostly Uzbeks, dead.
Shokhrukh is the younger brother of the late Alisher Saipov, a journalist murdered outside his Osh office in 2007.
“Half his face was missing,” Shokhrukh’s father, Avas, said, in comments carried by Uznews.net. Avas fears his son did not receive adequate medical care because of his ethnicity, the report said. That is a legitimate concern given the rise of aggressive Kyrgyz nationalism since the ethnic violence.
[U]nidentified attackers brutally beat Saipov shortly after his 5 p.m. arrival in Osh from the capital, Bishkek, where he had attended a media seminar. Three hours later, residents of the village of Aravan, 17 miles (27 kilometers) outside of Osh, found him lying unconscious on a street, with his nose and several teeth broken. A member of his family told CPJ that he had no recollection of how he got to Aravan. The journalist was hospitalized overnight and diagnosed with a severe concussion and partial memory loss, his brother Muzaffar Saipov told CPJ. He is currently recovering at home. None of his valuables--money, a cell phone, and a laptop--were taken, the brother said.
Saipov's website--published in Russian, Uzbek, and English--covers social and political issues affecting the daily lives of ethnic Uzbek residents in southern Kyrgyzstan. It also runs commentaries on the ongoing interethnic divide between Uzbek and Kyrgyz residents of the region with recommendations for reconciliation.
Don’t count on the authorities to find Saipov’s attackers. His brother Alisher was gunned down four years ago. The murder remains unsolved.