Jailed Uzbek Journalist Wins Press Award
December 1, 2003
SUMMARY: The jailed gay Uzbek journalist Ruslan Sharipov has been
awarded the 2004 Golden Pen of Freedom in light of his struggle to promote
The jailed gay Uzbek journalist Ruslan Sharipov has been awarded the 2004
Golden Pen of Freedom in light of his struggle to promote press freedom.
Sharipov was chosen for the honor by the Paris-based World Association of
Newspapers despite being detained in the prison under dubious charges against
his homosexuality and alleged sex with minors.
However, he has maintained that he was imprisoned for daring to question
the country’s government. Additionally, he claims he is being routinely
tortured in prison and constantly fears for his life.
He has become the focus of many civil rights groups, who are urging the
government of Uzbekistan to release him immediately.
The award, which is the highest honor promoting freedom of the press,
“recognizes Mr. Sharipov’s outstanding defense and promotion of press
freedom in the face of constant physical danger, prison, and censorship,”
the group said in a statement.
“His refusal to censor himself, even in the face of intimidation, prison
and torture, is a courageous act that is an inspiration to journalists and
human rights everywhere.”
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