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EU Condemns Murder of Uzbek Journalist, Calls for Thorough Investigation

The European Union has condemned the murder of independent Uzbek journalist Alisher Saipov and called for a thorough investigation.

In a statement, the EU said it deplored the killing of the 26-year-old journalist and praised his work, which it said provided an important contribution to the promotion of human rights.

The EU urged Kyrgyz authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Saipov was shot at close range last week as he was leaving his office in the Kyrgyz city of Osh.

He was the founder of an 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.

Police in Kyrgyzstan are investigating a possible Uzbek connection to the murder. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has pledged to oversee the probe.

The United States has also condemned Saipov's murder.

Rights group Amnesty International has called on Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the investigation into his death is thorough, impartial and in line with international practices.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.