Journalist Says Confession Made After Being Tortured
Radio Free Europe,
November 2, 2003
Tashkent (RFE/RL)—A jailed Uzbek opposition
journalist said today he had been tortured into confessing to charges of
sodomy and called the case against him a crude fabrication designed to silence
him and serve as a warning to other independent journalists.
In his first media interview since he was arrested last May, Ruslan
Sharipov said that Uzbek authorities used him in an effort to teach others a
Sharipov, who is openly gay, was found guilty of having homosexual
sex—illegal in Uzbekistan under laws dating back to Soviet times—and also
of having sex with minors.
The independent journalist and human rights activist was sentenced in
August at a closed trial after he suddenly dismissed his lawyer and changed
his plea to guilty.
Journalists were allowed to visit Sharipov at the Tavaksay prison, 70
kilometers northeast of Tashkent.
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