Human Rights News

COTTON CLUSTERS AND THE DESPAIR OF UZBEK FARMERS:  LAND CONFISCATIONS, BLANK CONTRACTS AND FAILED PAYMENTS

 Executive summary The privatization of Uzbekistan’s cotton sector has led to the establishment of so-called “cotton textile clusters” throughout the country designed to increase the added value in the cotton industry by boosting textile production and bringing together production, processing and manufacturing. That is being done under the control of private entities which enter into …

Call for Transparency and Accountability in the Return of Gulnara Karimova Stolen  Assets to Uzbekistan

Federal Assembly of Switzerland Swiss Federal Council Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police Swiss Task Force on Asset Recovery, FDFA Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, FDFA   Statement by Uzbek Civil Society Activists Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of former Uzbek President Islam Karimov, has been found …

Tricks, Threats and Deception: Registering an NGO in Uzbekistan

For anyone following the reform process in Uzbekistan, it is apparent that the country is changing rapidly, particularly with regard to the economy. As foreign investors queue up to take advantage of a new business-friendly environment, civil society remains chained to a totalitarian legacy that shows little respect for human rights. Today, it takes about …

Propiska: Uzbekistan Abolishes Soviet-Style Residency Restrictions 

On February 17, Deputy Minister of the Interior, Aziz Ikramov, made a public statement that Uzbekistan would introduce a registration system to replace the mandatory residence permit known as propiska. “The propiska is an outdated system… The word ‘propiska’ will be removed from circulation and a registration system will be introduced instead. We will study …

The Accountability Gap: Are Uzbek Bank Officials Really Organizing Nationwide Forced Labor?

The Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations of Uzbekistan has published a list of officials who were given administrative punishments for the use of forced labor during the 2019 cotton harvest. According to the document, 43 officials were punished during the period October 2019 to February 2020 according to article 51 of the administrative code: …

2019 Cotton Harvest in Uzbekistan Preliminary Findings of Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights

Summary Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) has monitored child and forced labor in the Uzbek cotton harvest every year since 2010. Our network of trained, experienced, independent human rights and labor rights monitors have gained deep, unique insight into the system of forced labor, the role of the Uzbek government, and the agricultural policy …

Gulnara Karimova Prosecution – Welcome to a House of Mirrors

Professor Kristian Lasslett Last week, ‘behind closed doors’, Gulnara Karimova stood trial on new criminal charges.  Karimova’s Swiss lawyer, Grégoire Mangeat, claims she has been denied access to her legal team. Karimova is currently serving a ten year sentence.  Back in August 2015 she was initially found guilty of extortion, theft, and tax evasion by …

Valuable Artefacts Seized from Gulnara Karimova’s Homes 

On January 11, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Uzbekistan issued a statement on artefacts found in Gulnara Karimova’s home in Switzerland. According to the Uzbek Prosecutor’s Office, in cooperation with the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office, 70 works of art were found and seized during a search of Gulnara Karimova’s villa in Geneva which belong to the …

“International Organizations are Enemies”

On the first days of the new year I received an alarming letter from a partner of Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) stating that an officer of the State Security Service of Uzbekistan (FSB) had called her. The “conversation” was clearly intended to intimidate and hinder work on collecting information on human rights violations …

Blogger Nafosat Ollashukurova Released from Psychiatric Detention 

Nafosat Ollashukurova, a blogger who was forcibly detained for three months in a psychiatric hospital in Khorezm, was released on December 28. An Eltuz correspondent reports that a “commission formed after the parliamentary elections held on 22 December found that Ollashukurovadid not need further treatment.” On 28th of December Nafosat Ollashukurovaleft the hospital and headed …

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