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Uzbek TV Cuts 'Allahka Shukur' Out Of Olympic Champion's Statement

TASHKENT -- Uzbek state television has edited a statement by weightlifter Ruslan Nurudinov in a report covering his victory at the Rio Olympics, cutting out a traditional phrase praising God.

Nurudinov earn a gold medal for Uzbekistan on August 15 in the 105-kilogram event at Rio Olympics. Talking to journalists after the award ceremony, Nurudinov said, "Thank the Lord (Allahka shukur) I have won this medal for my Uzbekistan."

Meanwhile, RFE/RL's correspondents report from Tashkent that Uzbek state TV cut out the first part of Nurudinov's statement in their report. But unedited video of his full statement is circulating on the Internet.

The Uzbek government has for years enforced its support for secular society by hunting down men with beards and organizing show trials of alleged Islamists.

Media reports say hundreds of Uzbek citizens have joined the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq in recent years.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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