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Amnesty International Dismayed by Uzbek Journalist's Murder

Amnesty International is urging Kyrgyz authorities to ensure that an investigation into the murder of an independent Uzbek journalist is thorough, impartial and in line with international practices.

In a statement, the human rights group says it is dismayed by the killing of 26-year-old Alisher Saipov last week.

He was shot at close range on October 24 as he left his office in the Kyrgyz city of Osh.

The president of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, will personally oversee the investigation into Saipov's murder.

Saipov was the founder of the Uzbek-language newspaper that focused on political affairs in neighboring Uzbekistan. He also reported for the U.S.-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.

Amnesty International also called on authorities to take urgent steps to protect journalists from violence, harassment and intimidation.

VOA's director, Danforth Austin, said he was saddened by Saipov's murder. He reaffirmed VOA's commitment to covering news events in Kyrgyzstan.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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