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RFE/RL Kyrgyzstan Reporter Wins Award For Investigative Journalism

Kyrgyzstan--Aizada Kutueva, investigative reporter with RFE/RL's Central Asia Newswire. Bishkek, undated.

Aizada Kutueva, an investigative reporter and correspondent for RFE/RL’s Central Asian Newswire in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan won the “Best Anti-Corruption Online Publication” award for her reporting on corruption in Kyrgyzstan.

The competition was sponsored by the German Technical Cooperation Agency, the business consultancy company “We Experts,” and the Kyrgyz Association of Young Businessmen.

Kutueva’s investigative story, "Kyrgyzstan In The Eurasian Economic Union: Fuel Smuggling Increases," uncovered a sharp rise in smuggling after Kyrgyzstan joined the Eurasian Economic Union eight months ago. After joining the union, Kyrgyzstan was required to impose the same border and customs controls as the other members, but this did not deter smuggling, Kutueva found.

Her investigations revealed that 30 percent of Kyrgyz petroleum products are imported into the country illegally. The story was published by the Kyrgyz Service website in both Kyrgyz and Russian.

RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service, known locally as Radio Azzatik, is a leading source of independent news and information in Kyrgyzstan. It was recognized as the country’s most reliable information source on radio in a February 2015 Baltic Surveys poll. According to a November 2014 Gallup survey, it reaches more than 36 percent of the population every week via TV, radio, and digital platforms.

--Elissa Nunez