Human Rights News

Uzbekistan: Amidst reform effort, journalists and activists face criminal charges, arbitrary detention, forced psychiatric treatment

For Immediate Release October 16, 2019 Uzbekistan: Amidst reform effort, journalists and activists face criminal charges, arbitrary detention, forced psychiatric treatment (Washington, D.C.) –The Cotton Campaign calls on the Uzbek government to drop criminal charges against Mahmud Rajab, a poet, journalist, and human rights defender, whose trial on contraband charges is set to begin Thursday. …

Uzbekistan Cotton Harvest 2019   Chronicle of Forced Labor

  September 14 – 30, 2019  Photo 1 Cotton pickers Namangan region, Chust district The cotton harvest in Uzbekistan started on September 14, 2019. According to contracts signed by farmers, the state has set a plan to harvest 2,958,000 tons of raw cotton this year.    Prior to the start of the cotton harvest, officials …

Just Like Old Times: Ministry of Internal Affairs Continues to Meddle in the Lives of Farmers

On August 23 Radio Ozodlik published an audio recording of a conference call held by the head of the Kashkadarya regional police, Dilshod Tursunboyev. During the meeting, Tursunboyev was heard addressing the heads of the district police departments and scolding his subordinates for the inability to find a sufficient number of vehicles to bring manure …

Appeal for justice in the return of Gulnara Karimova’s ill-gotten assets

Switzerland: Federal Council The Office of Public Prosecutor The Federal Criminal Court Gibraltar: HM Government HM Government of Law Offices France: Ministry of Justice Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs United States of America: US Department of Justice Uzbekistan: Ministry of Justice The Office of Prosecutor General 25 July, 2019 CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVISTS OF UZBEKISTAN …

Uzbek Human Rights Defender Charged with Slander and Defamation after Investigating Confiscation of Private Property

A criminal case has been brought against Malokhat Eshonkulova, an independent Tashkent-based human rights defender, by the investigative department of the Jizzakh regional police based on a statement by Alisher Abduganiyev, the hokim of the Zaamin district. On June 3, 2019, a post on the website of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Jizzakh …

Umida Niyazova on Forced Labor in Uzbekistan: Despite progress, forced labor remains a reality in Uzbekistan

By Catherine Putz If the ultimate goal is the eradication of all forced labor in Uzbekistan, Tashkent hasn’t yet achieved it. While most observers concede progress on this front, and welcome greater openness on the part of Uzbek authorities in discussing the cotton industry, the reality remains that some people in Uzbekistan are forced to …

Uzbek Human Rights Defenders Appeal to International Companies Not to Lift Boycott of Uzbek Cotton

In the last few years, the government of Uzbekistan has undertaken reforms aimed at ending forced labor in its cotton industry, some of which have resulted in a significant reduction of the number of citizens forced into the fields. However, the root structural problems of the system which continue to incentivize and drive forced labor …

Home of Poet and Journalist Mahmud Rajabov Raided by Police

On May 10, police raided the home of 55-year-old journalist and poet Mahmud Rajabov in the Gurlan district of the Khorezm region. Rajabov told Uzbek-German Forum (UGF) that seven or eight police officers searched his home for two hours and confiscated his laptop, smartphone, CDs, DVDs and books including “History of the Prophets” by Muhammad …

State Quotas Drive Corrupt Practices Throughout Cotton Sector

The Supreme Court of Uzbekistan will soon pass judgment on a failed appeal against the verdict of the criminal court of the Syrdarya region in December 2018 in a case of embezzlement at the “Sardoba Pakhta Tozalash” cotton gin plant in the Akaltyn district. The director of the plant, along with six other employees were …

Uzbek expert: The Uzbek government continues to consider the cotton sector as its “cash cow”

Alisher Ilkhamov, a well-known Uzbek expert, sociologist and Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, commented on the issue of the boycott of Uzbek cotton: Recently, the government of Uzbekistan, represented by Deputy Prime Minister Tanzila Narbayeva, Minister of Employment and Labor Relations Sherzod Kudbiyev, along with the ambassadors …