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More Attacks against Journalists in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan -- Kubanychbek Joldoshev, a staffer of "Osh Shamy" (Torch of Osh) newspaper, 02Nov2009
Kyrgyzstan -- Kubanychbek Joldoshev, a staffer of "Osh Shamy" (Torch of Osh) newspaper, 02Nov2009

An attack on a Kyrgyz journalist earlier this month is the seventh such incident in this Central Asian republic this year and further proof of increasing impunity and declining media freedom in Kyrgyzstan.

Kubanychbek Joldoshev told RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz service that an attack that left him hospitalized with a concussion was politically motivated.
Joldoshev, 29, was severely beaten by three unknown assailants on November 2. He suffered head injuries and broken bones in the attack.
He told RFE/RL that police stopped the taxi he was in and took away the driver "to see if he was intoxicated." Joldoshev said as soon as the police left with the taxi driver, three men approached the taxi and started beating him.

Local police officials deny that the attack was premeditated. They claim Joldoshev was slightly drunk himself, but said the police who took the taxi driver for a checkup are being investigated. Turgunbay Jumabaev, the chief of the Investigations Committee in Osh, told RFE/RL that the attack is being considered an act of hooliganism.

Joldoshev is a correspondent for the local newspaper "Osh Shamy" (The Torch of Osh). He used to work as a correspondent for RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service. The chief editor of "Osh Shamy," Turgunbay Aldakulov, told RFE/RL that he and his colleagues believe the attack is most likely connected with Joldoshev's professional activities and should not be investigated as an act of hooliganism.

Abduvahab Moniev, an independent Kyrgyz journalist who was severely beaten by unknown assailants earlier this summer, told RFE/RL that none of his attackers have been found. Almaz Ismanov, who represents the regional Internet resource center "Oazis," told RFE/RL that after a local journalist was shot dead in Osh two years ago, local journalists have been reluctant to cover controversial issues.