U.S. Diplomat Urges Uzbek Authorities to Release Gay Journalist
Advocate, November 11, 2003
A senior U.S. official urged Uzbek authorities on Monday
to grant amnesty to Ruslan Sharipov, a gay journalist jailed on sodomy charges
in a case that has drawn international criticism. “We do believe...that he
should be amnestied,” Lorne Craner, U.S. assistant secretary of state for
democracy, human rights, and labor, told journalists in the Uzbek capital,
Tashkent, during a visit with the U.S. assistant secretary of state A.
Sharipov, who is openly gay, was convicted in August of
sodomy and having sex with minors and is serving a four-year prison term. His
case has drawn much attention from international media and human rights groups
who have demanded his immediate release, saying he was persecuted for his
criticism of the government. In an interview from prison this month, Sharipov
said had been forced to confess through torture and threats.
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