Prison fears for Uzbek press freedom winner

A journalist who won a top press freedom prize is facing increased harassment, the World Association of Newspapers fears.

WAN has learned that Uzbek authorities are continuing to harass Ruslan Sharipov and fears that the authorities intend to transfer him back to a high-security prison from house arrest to serve out his four-year sentence.

Uzbek sources have told WAN that Sharipov is eligible for early release on 11 June. But if he violates the terms of his house arrest, he can be sent back to prison for another three years.

According to the WAN sources, Sharipov has been barred from resuming his human rights or journalism activities, under threat of losing the possibility of early release.

Sharipov, the 2004 laureate of the WAN Golden Pen of Freedom, left the high security prison on 13 March and has moved into the home of a relative.

He is required to report to a lowsecurity prison for work every day.

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