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Washington, D.C., October 24, 2007 - Alisher Saipov, a journalist who reported extensively for the Voice of America (VOA), was killed outside his office earlier today in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Saipov reported for VOA's Uzbek language service on a variety of sensitive political issues critical to the audience throughout Central Asia.
"We call for a full and complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding this tragedy," said James K. Glassman, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the federal government agency that oversees the Voice of America.
Preliminary information is that he was shot dead at close range some time after 6:00 p.m. local time in Osh.
"A professional journalist has paid the ultimate price by doing his job," said Voice of America Director Danforth Austin. "We are all deeply saddened by Alisher's brutal death but firmly resolved to continue reporting events in Kyrgyzstan and throughout Central Asia."
VOA colleagues remember Saipov as a fearless journalist, with impeccable skills and deep knowledge of the region, who was always willing to go to the scene to report events. His reporting focused on the volatile Ferghana Valley that straddles Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and is a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.
Mr. Saipov, age 26, was a native of Osh. He leaves behind his wife and three-month-old daughter.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.