Human Rights News

Journalist Detained for Exposing Hokim Ordering Teachers and Doctors to Pick Cotton

On the evening of October 25, the journalist found out that the hokim of the Kushkupir district was holding a meeting with the principals of schools and kindergartens and heads of rural medical institutions to discuss the mobilization of their employees to pick cotton. Ruzmetov immediately went to the hokimiyat and recorded the meeting on his mobile phone. When …

Sandbags Added to Harvested Cotton in Andijan under Management’s Orders

At cotton receiving points in the Boz district of the Andijan region in Uzbekistan, bags filled with sand are added to the harvested cotton to increase the weight. An “overstatement” of the cotton weight is carried out on the orders of the head of the district, Ozodlik’s sources report. According to one of the workers …

Bed Linen Previously used for Children with Tuberculosis Given to Soldiers Moblized to Pick Cotton

Parents of children at a sanatorium for children with tuberculosis, or who are at risk of developing it, in the Turtkul district of the Republic of Karakalpakstan told Ozodlik that the school administration had given the children’s mattresses to soldiers who had come to pick cotton. They complain that the children are freezing at night …

Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 3

The Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) continues to monitor forced labor during this year’s cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. UGF monitors collecting information in seven out of Uzbekistan’s 13 regions are recording massive forced mobilization to pick cotton or the demand to pay for replacement workers. Forced mobilization is taking place under the direct instructions of the …

Cotton 2018: “Women and men are sleeping in the same room, divided only by a curtain”

105 workers from cultural institutions in the Jizzakh region are collecting cotton in a “voluntary-compulsory” way (Soviet term for social work that cannot be refused). Men and women have to share living quarters and are publicly reprimanded if they pick less than 70 kg of cotton per day. Employees of theaters, museums, libraries as well …

Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 2, October 1, 2018 

Unlike all previous years, during the first ten days of the cotton picking period, forced mobilization for the cotton harvest in 2018 does not appear to be on a massive scale. Employees of educational and medical institutions have not been recruited to collect cotton. However, reports by UGF monitors, eyewitness accounts, and publications in the independent press …

Mirziyoyev Must Re-Instate Citizenship of Exiled Uzbeks

I have just discovered that I am now officially a “stateless” person. I wasn’t entirely shocked to learn this, but it’s a strange feeling all the same. The notion that I have no national identity, that I no longer have any right of belonging to the country of my birth, my family, my mother tongue …

Forced labor down in spring cotton work, systemic problems remain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2018 Forced labor down in spring cotton work, systemic problems remain Public sector workers not mobilized en masse to work in Uzbek cotton fields in Spring 2018 Berlin — For the first time in years, public sector workers were not forcibly mobilized to plant and weed cotton in Uzbekistan in …

Cotton Harvest Chronicle 2018, Issue 1, September 2018 

In Uzbekistan, preparations for the 2018 cotton harvest have begun. Due to unfavourable climatic conditions, it is expected that the harvest will begin later than usual. It was reported at a video-conference, chaired by President Mirziyoyev on July 4, 2018, that “cotton growth is 10 to 15 days behind, and in some places by 20-25 …

Mothers in Surxondaryo Region Forced to Clean Streets under Threat of Losing Child Benefits

On August 18, in the Angar district of the Surxondaryo region in Uzbekistan, heads of mahallas and of the district forced women to participate in khashar [trans. – community cleaning day], threatening them with losing their child benefits. Some of these women told Radio Ozodlik reporters that they had to clean the streets when it …

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