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Zamira Sydykova (Kyrgyz and Russian: Замира Сыдыкова; born 1960) is the Kyrgyz ambassador to the United States and Canada, having been appointed to that position by President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Sydykova was born in what is now Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. At the time of her birth the city was known as Frunze and was the capital of the Kyrgyz SSR, a subdivision of the Soviet Union. The city changed its name to Bishkek after gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Sydykova studied journalism at the prestigious Moscow State University and after graduating began working as a reporter for the popular newspaper, Komsomolets Kirgizii, the local organ of the Soviet communist party's youth wing, Komsomol. In 1992, after Kyrgyzstan became independent, she founded the country's first independent newspaper, Respublika ("Republic") and as editor-in-chief she struggled to promote freedom of the press and the concept of an open society. Her criticism of then president Askar Akayev and his increasingly authoritarian regime resulted in her arrest and imprisonment, along with repeated attempts by the authorities to close down the newspaper.

In 2000 she was awarded the "Courage in Journalism" award by the International Women's Media Foundation for her efforts to promote free media.[1]

In 2005 she was appointed to the position of ambassador to the United States as a result of president Bakiyev's landslide election victory, following the popular uprising that forced president Akayev to flee the country (see: Tulip Revolution).

References

  1. ^ Peggy Simpson. "Fifteen Years of Courage: Zamira Sydykova". International Women's Media Foundation. http://www.iwmf.org/features/8629. Retrieved 2007-07-13.  

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