The World Association of Newspapers and the
World Editors Forum express serious concern at the death of
journalist Askhat Sharipzhanov
Interior Minister Zautbek Turisbekov
C/o Permanent Representative to UN
22 July 2004
We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and
the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications in 100
countries, to express our serious concern at the death of journalist
According to reports, Mr Sharipzhanov, a journalist with the online
publication Navigator, was knocked down by a car on 16 July after he
left his office. He died of a brain haemorrhage on 20 July in an
On the afternoon of 16 July, Mr Sharipzhanov had reportedly
interviewed Altynbek Sarsenbayev, the new information minister and a
reformist, as well as Zamanbek Nurkadilov, a key opposition figure.
Navigator editor-in-chief Yuri Mizinov has been quoted as saying he
believed that the journalist may have been targeted because of his
work. He claimed that the transcripts of some interviews conducted
on the day of his death had disappeared from Mr Sharipzhanov's
computer, as had his tape recorder. Mr Mizinov said he doubted the
official version that the death was an accident.
We respectfully call on you to ensure that a thorough and open
investigation into the incident is carried out to clear up doubts
about Mr Sharipzhanov's death. We ask that you keep us informed of
developments in the investigation.
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Seok Hyun Hong
World Association of Newspapers
World Editors Forum
cc: Mr Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations
Mr Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General, UNESCO
July 26, 2004.