Last edited: December 05, 2004

Gay Uzbek Writer Speaks of Torture U.K., November 4, 2003

The gay Uzbek journalist currently held in prison for challenging the government spoke to reporters for the first time on Monday.

Ruslan Sharipov spoke of how he was forced into confessing to charges of sodomy and of having sex with minors when prison guards tortured him.

He says he is innocent, and the case against him was politically motivated—a view supported by many human rights groups.

They claim the government was looking to silence Sharipov, and used topical charges, such as pedophilia, so as to distract other countries and organizations from getting involved.

Speaking to reporters from his cell, Sharipov said prison guards forced him to write a suicide note and threatened to kill him unless he pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

They then forced him to dismiss his lawyers and friends from the courtroom, so that they could sentence him easily.

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