Ruslan Sharipov gets asylum in the United States

first_imgNews October 28, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Ruslan Sharipov gets asylum in the United States Receive email alerts Organisation 10. Do you think the international community puts enough pressure on president Karimov to respect human rights more? No, I don’t think so. The situation in Uzbekistan is very serious and the population suffers a great deal as a result of President Karimov’s tyrannical regime. The government ignores basic human rights and freedoms, thousands of people are imprisoned and tortured for peacefully practising their beliefs, journalists and writers are periodically thrown to jail, and citizens are living in inhuman conditions.11. Are you optimistic about the future of human rights in your country? Do you think you will be able to go back one day and work freely as a journalist?I am optimistic by nature and this helped me to continue my work in recent years. However, despite being optimistic, I don’t believe there will be any change until the dictator, Islam Karimov, is no longer in power or until the international community takes more serious steps. 12. What are your plans in the United States?Unfortunately I still don’t know what I will be doing in the United States. Ruslan Sharipov has obtained political asylum in the United States after fleeing Uzbekistan, where he had been serving a prison sentence for homosexuality. “I was told that if I did not leave, I would die or I would be returned to prison”, he said in an interview for Reporters Without Borders. October 15, 2020 Find out more 3. What were your prison conditions like? They were better after 3 October 2003. Before that, I was subjected to cruel torture, both physical and mental. I was injected with unidentified substances and I was told that I was being infected with the HIV virus. They put bags and a gas mask over my head and made me write a suicide note. Unidentified substances were sprayed into my throat, making me feel I was suffocating, while they continued to torture me with electric shock to the ears and other parts of the body. It was mostly the interior ministry’s anti-terrorism department that did the torturing. I remember how Radjab Kadirov, who is in charge of all prisons and camps and who is the interior minister’s first assistant, told me that I should end all activity and give up any hope of getting US help. “Look how the United States cooperates with us in the war against terrorism,” Kadirov said. “Even our anti-terrorism department which is in charge of your case is financed by them. So don’t expect their help.”4. Could you describe the judicial proceedings pursued against you? Despite many protests, all court hearings took place behind closed doors. The judge also refused to let US embassy and US State Department representatives be present in court. 5. Why did you make a confession? The authorities still had a problem. Public defender Surat Ikramov and my lawyer Ravil Gayazov were able to demonstrate to the court that there was no evidence. My defence team was ready to win the case. This is why they put enormous pressure on me, including the use of torture. They also told me that if I did not officially say I did not want my defence team and my mother to be present in court, both my defence team and my relatives would be in danger. My public defender ended up being attacked and beaten and was hospitalised with serious injuries.6. At the end of the last in a series of hearings behind closed doors, the judicial authorities finally sentenced you on 23 June 2004 to two years’ forced labour and put you under house arrest in Bukhara, 600 km from the capital. Why did you find this sentence intolerable? This was the official version. In fact, the anti-terrorism department asked me to leave Uzbekistan immediately. I was told that if I did not leave, I would die in Bukhara or I would be returned to prison in Tovaksay. The Uzbek authorities had demonstrated that they always do what they say they are going to do. They gave me three choices: to die in Bukhara, to go back to prison in Tovaksay or to leave Uzbekistan. I realised that they were not going to allow me to carry on doing my work. After consulting with representatives of international organizations, we decided that my best option was to leave the country.7. Can you explain to us how you managed to escape? The people who asked me to leave have a great deal of power and I think this was the reason I was able to cross the Uzbek border into Kazakhstan, from where I took train to Moscow.8. What has it been like to take this risk and flee, to be in exile and to wait for months before being able to reach the United States? It was a very dangerous time for me. There are many corrupt clans in Uzbekistan fighting each other. I knew that the corrupt clans of certain senior officials could easily kill or harm me just to undermine a rival clan. The interior ministry would have been blamed if something had happened to me, because they were responsible for my detention. I ended up very ill with dangerous hepatitis B and D infections. The Russian doctors said the infections had started in Uzbekistan several months earlier. While I was under house arrest, the prison administration had sent me to a government medical unit. They carried out various tests on me using old syringes and old needles. I just hope that there is nothing more they infected me with.9. What is it like to work as an independent journalist in Uzbekistan? How would you describe the situation of press freedom? Under President Karimov’s oppressive regime, many journalists and human rights activists have to secretly cooperate with the authorities, seeking permission for any criticism they publish or being very restrained in their criticism. Others play safe by censoring themselves. One rarely sees any journalist or human rights defender criticize specific government officials or police officers. The case of Rustam Erkabaev, who went to the constitutional court against the president, is a good example of the kind of article I wrote. Nobody wanted to make his case public. Erkabaev was one of the biggest figures in the interior ministry. He was the head of the department that combats corruption and organized crime. But he was fired after he tried to bring a criminal case for gross corruption against Turop Kholtaev, who had key position in the government. I wrote many articles about the case and when a British TV crew came to Tashkent, I invited them to make a documentary about Erkabaev. May 11, 2021 Find out more Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term Follow the news on Uzbekistan News News RSF_en February 11, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia to go further More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council Journalist and human rights activist Ruslan Sharipov has obtained political asylum in the United States after fleeing Uzbekistan, where he had been serving a prison sentence for homosexuality, Reporters Without Borders said today.Sharipov, 26, who has explained his reasons for leaving Uzbekistan in an interview for Reporters Without Borders, was originally given a four-year prison sentence on appeal on 25 September 2003 for homosexuality and having sexual relations with a minor.In the last of a series of secret hearings, the district court of Khamzincki (in the Tashkent region) sentenced Sharipov on 23 June 2004 to two years of community service in the central city of Bukhara (600 km from the capital). Sharipov fled the country before his transfer to Bukhrara took place.A former president of the Union of Independent Journalists of Uzbekistan (UIJU) and correspondent for the Russian news agency Prima, Sharipov was arrested on 26 May 2003.Under duress, he pleaded guilty in August, asked President Islam Karimov to be forgiven for all his critical articles, and waived his right to legal defence.Sharipov has never denied his bisexuality but he claims he had never met the adolescents who were alleged to have been his victims. They were detained on 26 May and held for three or four days. Sharipov’s lawyer said they were beaten and threatened by police to get them to testify against Sharipov in court. In fact, the trial had to be adjourned several times because they failed to turn up. Reporters Without Borders set up a sponsorship system 13 years ago under which it calls on international news media to adopt a journalist in prison. A total of 120 news organisations are currently supporting jailed journalists by regularly asked the relevant authorities to release them and by publicising their cases so that they are not forgotten.Sharipov had been adopted by the French magazine Têtu._______________Interview with journalist and human rights activist Ruslan Sharipov, living in exile in the United States1. On 13 August 2003, you were sentenced to five and a half years in prison for homosexuality and having sexual relations with minors. Do you think these charges were trumped up by the Karimov regime to trap you and reduce you to silence?The government cannot stand criticism, and it was always furious about the way I criticised the total control that corrupt officials exercise over the media and the violations of basic human rights and freedoms. The security services and government officials often warned me I would end up in prison or dead because of my activities. However I never stopped and as a result there were serious attacks and provocations against me and my colleagues. They tried to accuse me of possessing drugs and one of my colleagues was accused of links with an Islamic party. But this was just to frighten us because nobody would seriously believe that I am a drug-user or some kind of religious extremist. Before being imprisoned I got a last warning. I was asked to leave Uzbekistan as soon as possible. The Karimov regime then concocted a plan to get rid of me by using my sexual orientation as a way to have me convicted on the basis of false evidence.2. What did you do or write to incur the wrath of the authorities? The authorities were slowly brought to this by my refusal to stop criticizing officials, together with the unsuccessful efforts of the special security services to find another way to neutralize my activities. Many of the people I had been criticising over the years, including interior ministry and other government officials, finally decided to get rid of me despite knowing that there would be international protests. last_img read more

Afghan reporter killed in coordinated Taliban attacks on southern town

first_img Situation getting more critical for Afghan women journalists, report says News Help by sharing this information March 11, 2021 Find out more Organisation Afghanistan : “No just and lasting peace in Afghanistan without guarantees for press freedom” AfghanistanAsia – Pacific to go further News AfghanistanAsia – Pacific RSF asks International Criminal Court to investigate murders of journalists in Afghanistancenter_img RSF_en Follow the news on Afghanistan May 3, 2021 Find out more News News June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that Ahamad Omid Khpalwak, a reporter for the BBC and the Afghan news agency Pajhwok, was killed today during Taliban attacks on several buildings in Tarin Kot, the capital of the southern province of Oruzgan. Khpalwak was in one of the targeted buildings, the provincial headquarters of the national radio and TV station.“We offer our condolences to Khpalwak’s family and friends,” Reporters Without Borders said. “A talented young journalist, he had the courage to work as a reporter in the south of the country, a Taliban bastion. This crime must not go unpunished. We demand the truth about the circumstances of his death. Enemies of media freedom, the Taliban are murdering a still growing number of journalists and ordinary citizens.”Suicide bombers and gunmen began a series of coordinated attacks on several Tarin Kot buildings including the radio and TV station, the governor’s house and police headquarters at around 12:15 pm. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi confirmed that they were carried out by his organization but denied that the Taliban killed Khpalwak.Khpalwak’s brother told the Pajhwok news agency that his brother sent him an SMS message after being badly injured in which he asked him to pray for him. He died before emergency services arrived. At least 17 people were killed in the attacks.Khpalwak is the third Pajhwok journalist to be killed. Abdul Samad Rohani was killed in Helmand in June 2008 and Janullah Hashimzada was killed in northern Pakistan in August 2009. July 28, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Afghan reporter killed in coordinated Taliban attacks on southern townlast_img read more

New Running Record: 40 years of sub-three-hour marathons

first_imgSteve Smythe, age 58, has run a sub-three-hour marathon every year for the past four decades. The London based runner and magazine editor has just set the world record by running 2:56:16 (6:43 per mile) in the Seville Marathon in Spain. Smythe ran his first marathon at 18 in 1976, where he ran 2:54:42 only two minutes faster than he did at 58. However, Smythe dropped his PR to 2:29:42 in 1981, a very respectable time for the marathon especially for the 1980’s.This most recent marathon was particularly special, not just for the record but because Smythe had been dealing with injuries for the past five years and finally felt healthy. The Brit made several changes to his training plan in the months leading up the Seville Marathon.Smythe did most of his 85-mile weeks on grass instead of the hard pavement he was used to. He also dropped some weight by watching what he was eating, spent more time in the gym, doing core, stretching, and leg and arm strengthening, he also made sure to do at least 20 miles every Sunday.“It probably hasn’t been done for a reason, I was thinking. You generally don’t keep that fit for that long,” said Smythe. Running can cause a lot of impact on the body, so it is impressive that someone has been running for such a length of time and doing so at this quality.Read more here.last_img read more

More charges in St. Paul Croatian fraud case

first_imgby: Peter StrozniakAnother person was charged Wednesday by Cleveland federal prosecutors for allegedly embezzling nearly $1 million from the St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union, which was liquidated by the NCUA in 2010 after the Eastlake, Ohio, cooperative lost more than $170 million.A six-count federal indictment charged Joe Spaqi, 60, of Cleveland of four counts of financial institution fraud and two counts of money laundering, according to Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

Paul Merson defends Granit Xhaka over row with Arsenal fans: ‘He gives everything he can’

first_imgGranit Xhaka has not played since the spat with fans against Crystal Palace (Picture: Rex Features)Arsenal hero Paul Merson has defended Granit Xhaka after the spat with fans which led to him being stripped of the club captaincy.The Swiss midfielder has not played for the Gunners since he was booed off by his own fans in a Premier League game against Crystal Palace on 27 October.Xhaka reacted angrily to the actions of the crowd, cupping his ears, shouting ‘f*** off’ and taking off his shirt before walking straight down the tunnel.Manager Unai Emery has stripped the 27-year-old of the captaincy as a result, but Merson has sympathsed with him and believes he only reacted in the way he did because he cares about the club.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I haven’t been his biggest fan but I can understand what he went through the other week was hard to take,’ Merson told Sky Sports. ‘It’s never nice to be booed by your own fans.‘He’s not the most talented footballer but he gives everything he can. He makes mistakes but he always turns up. He’s never injured, he always gets out on the pitch and looks for the ball.‘It’s frustrating because if he could have that time again he probably wouldn’t have done what he did but he cares, he cares.‘I don’t care who you are, no-one wants to be booed by their own fans, even Messi and Ronaldo. He had a mad 30 seconds and he’s badly paid for it. To be captain of Arsenal is a massive honour.’Xhaka has now missed three games since the incident, not appearing in the League Cup loss to Liverpool, or draws in the Premier League with Wolves and Europa League with Vitoria Guimaraes.He is available for selection against Leicester City on Saturday afternoon, but it is yet to be seen if the under-fire Emery will bring him back into the fold.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe Spaniard said of his decision to replace Xhaka with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as captain: ‘I had a meeting with him and told him he is no longer in the captain’s group.‘He accepted my decision. I needed to take a decision and now it’s closed.’The draw in Portugal on Wednesday afternoon means it is just one win in six matches for the Gunners ahead of their trip to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.MORE: Granit Xhaka ‘hurt’ by Arsenal captaincy axe and set for January transferMORE: Arsene Wenger claims Aaron Ramsey wanted to stay at Arsenal until club withdrew contract Comment Paul Merson defends Granit Xhaka over row with Arsenal fans: ‘He gives everything he can’ Advertisementcenter_img Phil HaighThursday 7 Nov 2019 7:42 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link105Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

Cricket News Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha asked to step down

first_imghighlights New Delhi: Sri Lanka’s head cricket coach Chandika Hathurusingha has been asked to step down after the ongoing ODI series against Bangladesh. Sources in Sri Lanka Cricket said SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva has written to Hathurusingha asking him to resign. Hathurusingha was under pressure to quit after Sri Lanka’s dismal showing in the recent World Cup.The island nation won just three preliminary round games and failed to make it to the semifinals. However, after returning to the country, Hathurusingha said he was keen to continue until the expiry of his contract, which was until the end of the next year.The 51-year-old was appointed in December 2017 after he left his job with the Bangladesh team. However, he was not able to turn around Sri Lanka’s dismal performances and the team lost 13 out of the 20 ODIs played in the run-up to the World Cup under his charge, which left them at No.8 in international rankings.Sources said Hathurusingha was expected to return to coaching Bangladesh after the sacking of Steve Rhodes by that team. Sports Minister Harin Fernando had earlier announced that he expected the entire Sri Lankan coaching staff to step down, taking responsibility for poor World Cup performance.Sri Lanka speedster Nuwan Kulasekara who has featured in over 260 International games has officially called it a day. Kulasekara, who made an instant impression in his first ODI, against England at Dambulla in November 2003, after being selected from relative obscurity has alway been skipper’s trump card.Having featured in the International set up in 2017, the future for the 37-year-old was looking slim. Sighting this, on Wednesday Kulasekara announced retirement from International Cricket. Reportedly, he requested SLC for farewell game. Sports Minister gave the green signal but selectors weren’t convinced as he hasn’t played domestic cricket for longtime. Nuwan Kulasekara announced retirement from International Cricket.Lasith Malinga is set to retire from International Cricket post first ODI against Bangladesh.Chandika Hathurusinghe was asked to quit after World Cup stint.  center_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi 4A goes on sale in India exclusively on Amazon, but has limited stock

first_imgXiaomi Redmi 4A was launched earlier this year in India. The smartphone finally goes up on sale at 3 PM today, exclusively on Amazon. The availability of the Xiaomi Redmi 4A is the key highlight of the Amazon Great Indian Sale Day 1. The smartphone is available at a price tag of Rs 5,999, but only for limited users and time.Only the Amazon Prime members can purchase the Redmi 4A from Amazon. This is probably because the e-commerce site has a limited availability of the smartphone. The Xiaomi phone is available only for online payment, and not for Cash on Delivery. The Amazon website page for the Redmi 4A has clearly mentioned that “this product is not eligible for the cashback”. Amazon also notes, “Please note that orders which exceed the quantity limit will be auto-canceled. This is applicable across sellers.Also Read: Amazon Great Indian Sale begins: OnePlus 3, Moto G4 Plus, iPhone 6S available on discountCustomers with Citibank will get an additional cashback of 10 per cent on payments with Citibank credit and debit cards. Furthermore, customers shopping on the Amazon App during the Great Indian Sale will be eligible to avail 15 per cent cashback offered by Citibank. Not just this, there are other exciting deals as well.Redmi 4A also comes with data offer from Idea and Vodafone. Idea Prepaid users buying the Redmi 4A from Amazon will get 28GB of 4G data with the recharge pack of Rs. 343, the daily FUP of the offer is 1GB. Customers will also get 300 minutes of free calls per day and 3,000 local and STD SMS facility per month for 28 days. Furthermore, Vodafone has also come up with a Special Offer for the customers and is offering 45GB data for 5 months.advertisementAmazon has made the Redmi 4A a limited availability product and says, “The order quantity for this product is limited to 1 unit per customer.” In terms of specifications, the smartphone runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is powered by 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC coupled with the Adreno 308 GPU.Also Read: HTC U11 spotted on GFXBench, full specs sheet leakedRedmi 4A comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage memory, which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. Display wise, the Xiaomi phone features a 5-inch HD display with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution and 296 p pixel density. On the camera front, Redmi 4A sports a 13-megapixel with PDAF, f/2.2 aperture, and a LED flash. In terms of the front facing camera, the smartphone includes a 5-megapixel sensor which comes loaded with a f/2.2 aperture.Further, the Redmi 4A comes is backed by a 3120mAh lithium-ion battery, which is said to provide talk-time of 39.3 hours and standby time of 168 hours. Well, for now, only the Gold colour with 16GB storage variants is available on Amazon at a price tag of Rs 5,999.Xiaomi Redmi 4A is already available on Amazon.in and you if you are a Prime member, you can grab the device by visiting this link. Xiaomi India is set to launch the Redmi 4 in India on May 16. The company has already started teasing about the smartphone on twitter and has a lot of expectations from the device.last_img read more

Wrestler Khali meets MP CM, says no to politics “as of now”

first_imgBhopal, Dec 11 (PTI) Dalip Singh Rana, better known as Great Khali in the World Wrestling Entertainments professional circuit, today said that he had no plans of joining politics “as of now”.Talking to reporters after meeting Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, he said, “I have no plans to join politics as of now, But cant say about future as the weather keeps changing from morning to evening.”Speaking about a proposed wrestling event in Madhya Pradesh, he said, “Chief Minister Chauhan is promoting sports in the state. Our meeting lasted for 15-20 minutes. On my proposal, he has assured all possible help in promoting wrestling in the state.”In reply to a question about the news reports of the impending marriage of cricketer Virat Kohli and actor Anushka Sharma, the wrestler expressed his best wishes for the couple.In reply to another question, Khali said that the reality show “Bigg Boss” was scripted and was not to be taken seriously but just as something to watch for enjoyment. PTI ADU BNM SDMlast_img read more