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Parallel Lives

March 14, 2010

Gaibullo Jalilov is learning how his country’s court system can repress any of its citizens for speaking out for human rights.

A Uzbekistan court has decided to uphold a 9-year prison sentence even after Mr. Jalilov claims he was coerced into his confession. Also, let’s not forget about the “apparent absence of any credible evidence of criminal activity.”

Activists fighting for labor rights have experienced the same treatment throughout history.

In the United States, Sacco and Vanzetti come to mind as well as the case of Joe Hill, who was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. Mr. Hill was executed after he was found guilty of murdering a man in Utah. The only problem was that prosecutors did not provide any evidence, motivation or connection that linked him to the victim (Murolo, Chitty, p.159).

While Mr. Jalilov and the many other activists in Uzbekistan, Sacco and Venzentti, and Mr. Hill have lived worlds apart, it seems they have lived very similar lives.

Reference: From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend, Murolo and Chitty, 2001

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