Badly beaten journalist in Osh ignored by medics

Shokhrukh Saipov; photo:
Shokhrukh Saipov, 26-year old publisher of the website, was brutally attacked on the evening of 10 August in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan. Shokhrukh is the brother of Alisher Saipov, the journalist who was killed in Osh in October 2007.

Shokhrukh was found unconscious at the opposite end of town from his parents’ house in the Aravan district. People who found him were able to find out his details and called a taxi which delivered him at his home at about 8pm.

Doctors described Shokhrukh’s condition as serious. He had been concussed, several teeth had been knocked out, his nose broken and his face so badly beaten that he was barely recognisable. “Half his face was missing,” Shokhrukh’s father Avas says. The victim has also suffered partial memory loss since the incident.

Despite Shokhrukh Saipov’s terrible injuries he was denied essential medical help. Although he was seen by a duty doctor that evening as he was admitted to the emergency department of Osh city hospital, the following day, the next doctor on shift and his medical staff ignored the journalist.

When Shokhrukh’s father, Avas, asked them to examine his son, the doctor answered that if he was dissatisfied with the care Shokhrukh was receiving in hospital he was welcome to take his son home, which he duly did.

Avas Saipov says that he hates to think that his son may have been denied professional care because of his nationality.

The Saipovs are ethnic Uzbeks, and in the south of Kyrgyzstan different ethnic groups are still not reconciled since the pogroms and killings which engulfed Osh and Jalalabad in June 2010.

On 24 October 2007, Shokhrukh’s older brother Alisher Saipov, who was 26, was shot dead in the centre of Osh not far from his office. Alisher was a well-known journalist on the Uzbek-language Siesat (Politics) newspaper.

Journalist Alisher Saipov (1981-2007); photo:
Most acquaintances of Alisher Saipov believe he was killed because of his journalistic work. He was critical of the Uzbek government many suspected the Uzbek authorities of involvement in his killing.

However, investigators in Kyrgyzstan quickly dismissed Saipov’s journalistic and political activity as grounds for his killing. Subsequently, a man named Abdufarid Rasulov from the Batkent region of Kyrgyzstan was found guilty of the crime and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

During his trial Rasulov said that before his arrest in February 2009 he had never heard of the journalist Saipov, that he had been tortured during his investigations and had been shown to an eyewitness of the killing prior to an identification parade.

“Rasulov was a scapegoat,” the father of the murdered journalist said of Rasulov’s trial.

Today Avas Saipov says that he is grateful that he has the chance to nurse Shokrukh, overjoyed that he is at least alive. But he is very anxious about what the future holds for his family.