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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07TASHKENT1887
2007-10-30 13:57:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Tashkent
Cable title:  

GOU RESPONSE TO SAIPOV SLAYING

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  PREL  KG  UZ 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO3139
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHNT #1887/01 3031357
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301357Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TASHKENT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8676
INFO RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 4011
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA 9601
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 3874
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 3395
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2091
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0837
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TASHKENT 001887 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KG UZ
SUBJECT: GOU RESPONSE TO SAIPOV SLAYING

REF: BISHKEK 1320

Classified By: P/E Chief Ted Burkhalter; reasons 1.4 (b and d).



1. (C) Summary: Uzbekistan (belatedly) condemns the murder of
VOA stringer Alisher Saipov, and claims the Kyrgyz government
has not yet asked for Uzbek assistance in the investigation.
End summary.



2. (C) Ambassador met October 30 with MFA First Deputy
Foreign Minister Nematov, who delivered the following
prepared text on ethnic Uzbek journalist Saipov's October 24
slaying in Kyrgyzstan. Nematov was responding to
Ambassador's request last week for reactions to the murder.



3. (C) Unofficial translation. Begin text:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan
presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States
and has the honor to respond to the Embassy's request as
follows.

According to our sources, Mr. Alisher Saipov, correspondent
of the Uzbek service of VOA radio in Kyrgyzstan, is in fact
an ethnic Uzbek. However, he was born in and permanently
resided on the soil of the Kyrgyz Republic.

As is known, Mr. Saipov maintained contacts with and acted
upon instruction from representatives of destructive
structures, who are hiding from law enforcement agencies
outside the republic, and had been systematically and
(inaccurately) covering the situation in Uzbekistan via VOA.

The Uzbek side possesses information proving that Mr. A.
Saipov has, throughout his journalistic activity, repeatedly
consulted with Dr. Djavdat Saikhon, the Chief of the Uzbek
service of U.S.-based VOA as well as maintained close
contacts with American diplomats accredited on the
territories of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Despite this, the Uzbek side did not react to A. Saipov's
numerous slanderous invectives, assessing his actions
(merely) as unsuccessful attempts to fulfill his patrons'
orders. Uzbekistan has always counted upon a sober and
pragmatic approach by foreign partners, to objectively assess
current socio-political and socio-economic reforms in the
republic.

The Ministry draws the Embassy's attention to the fact that
Uzbekistan, while following the path of development of a
democratic, secular state, respecting freedom of speech and
self-expression, vigorously opposes the use of forceful
methods of pressuring representatives of mass media
regardless of their political views, nationalities and place
of residence.

Respecting the principles of humanity and the human right to
life, the Uzbek side condemns the murder of Mr. Saipov and is
hopeful that the crime will be exposed and those who did it
will be punished. Representatives of local mass media have
offered their condolences to Mr. Saipov's family and friends.


The Ministry notes that neither the Kyrgyz government nor

Kyrgyz law enforcement agencies have requested assistance to
date. However, Uzbek competent organs stand ready to render
any assistance that may help.

In its turn, the Ministry urges the Embassy to put into
action Ambassador Norland's statement concerning the need "to
dispel any possible rumors of involvement of Uzbek special
services in this case."

Based on the experience of past years, the Ministry deems it
improper and absolutely hopeless to draw conclusions
regarding Mr. Saipov's murder, based on internet articles
"arranged" by mass media or on misleading articles released
by unfriendly circles.

In this regard, the Ministry expresses the utmost indignation
at U.S. attempts to link the issue of the safety of Mr. A.
Babaev, who is not accredited as a VOA journalist, to the

TASHKENT 00001887 002 OF 002


bilateral relations between our two countries and (the
Ministry) regards the statement as an attempt to foist upon
the Government of Uzbekistan responsibility for the future
(Note: meaning unclear, but appears to refer to
responsibility for the future of the bilateral relationship,
rather than of Babaev. End note.).

The Uzbek side believes that the relations between the two
countries must not become hostage to populist and
irresponsible approaches adopted by individuals who, with
this in mind, stand ready to use any forms and methods.

The Ministry officially states that Uzbekistan is
consistently pursuing a policy of ensuring freedom of mass
media and does not accept forceful pressure on either local
or foreign journalists. However, this does not mean that
established legislative measures will not be used in relation
to mass media representatives who violate the Constitution of
Uzbekistan or universally adopted journalistic norms and
rules.

The Uzbek side shall not tolerate such statements, which may
facilitate the shaping of opinions based on preconceptions
(nor will it tolerate) the accusatory U.S. approach toward
the Republic and the unwillingness to develop fruitful
interaction on the principles of equality and mutual respect.

The Ministry avails itself of the opportunity to renew to the
Embassy assurances of its highest consideration.

Tashkent, 30 October 2007

End text.



4. (SBU) Nematov gave Ambassador an article by Maria
Postnikova, in the October 30 Komsomolskaya
Pravda-Kyrgyzstan, which points to "religious extremists,"
including HT, as possible culprits.

Comment


--------------------------





5. (C) Ambassador advised Nematov in his earlier conversation
that rumors of NSS involvement in Saipov's murder could be
very damaging and should be dealt with squarely. The Uzbek
response will do little to dispel suspicions -- it is a week
late, grudging in tone, and smacks of "protesteth too much."
Still, Nematov's body language made clear the case has
touched a raw nerve. We should encourage the Kyrgyz to
engage the GOU jointly in the investigation if they have not
done so already. If Tashkent was involved in carrying out
this crime, there will need to be real evidence with which to
bring pressure to bear on President Karimov to deal with the
perpetrators. End Comment.
NORLAND