Ruslan Sharipov, a journalist in Uzbekistan, is being imprisoned and tortured because he's gay. His government captors have threatened to rape him with a bottle and inject him with AIDS. But there is talk that the government may soon amnesty a few political prisoners. Let's make sure he is one of them by emailing the 3 key US officials below, demanding they tell the Uzbek government to free Ruslan Sharipov.
Here are the direct email addresses for these rather high-ranking US officials. Let's take advantage of our luck. And if you're not American, no matter - it's still good for them to hear that people around the world are watching America's actions on this important case:
Marc Grossman, Undersecretary for Political Affairs, US Dept. of State
David Appleton, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Uzbekistan
Lorne Craner, Asst. Secretary, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, US
Dept. of State
You can read more about Ruslan's case at the Human Rights Watch Web site:
The following is the text of a letter I sent to three State Department officials this morning:
It has come to my attention that Ruslan Sharipov, a journalist in Uzbekistan, is being imprisoned and tortured in that country because he’s an open homosexual and advocate for gay rights in his homeland. His government captors have threatened to rape him with a glass bottle and inject him with HIV. In addition to this torture, they have forced him to write his own suicide note.
This month, the Uzbek government, under intense scrutiny from groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, is reportedly considering the release of 7,000 to 10,000 political prisoners. The Unites States government must ensure that Sharipov is among those freed.
I have been informed that U. S. government officials are under the impression that the average American is not concerned with human rights abuses in countries, even those which receive foreign aid from American tax dollars. If the U. S. government believes that American citizens don’t care about the imprisonment and torture of Mr. Sharipov and people like him, they are sorely mistaken. Americans will not treasure the irony that, after launching a battle against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, which has cost hundreds of American lives, their government supports a brutal dictator in Iraq’s backyard to the tune of $500,000,000 per year.
Please take this matter up with your superiors and the Uzbek government and encourage the release of Ruslan Sharipov.