Head of Gurlen District Assaults Farmer

March 13, 2019

Uzbek-German Forum has received an audio recording of Alisher Salayev, the head of the Gurlen district of the Khorezm region, in which he is heard shouting and using obscene language during a meeting with farmers on March 11  in the building of the Gurlen district hokimiyat. According to the UGF monitor who spoke to an eyewitness, Salayev reprimanded 12 farmers for the failure to go to the Yangibazar district for a seminar held by Uktam Kuchkarov, the deputy of the Khorezm region.

On the audiotape, Salayev is heard screaming “F**k your mother” followed by the sound of a blow. According to an eyewitness, the hokim hit 22-year-old Dilshod Dustmetov on the head with a chair who had come to the meeting instead of his father.

The meeting was also attended by the district prosecutor and the head of the district police, who silently observed the insults and violence of the hokim against the farmers.

Earlier this year, the local website Хabar.uz reported on another case of a farmer being beaten. On January 9, Sherali Salomov, the hokim of the Alat district of the Bukhara region, beat farmer Orif Durmatov at a meeting in the hokimiyat for refusing to transfer 25 million soum (approximately 2,900 USD) to the bank account of another farmer who was in debt.

Durmatov objected to the hokim’s order, saying that he had debts to another farmer for using his equipment, to which the hokim punched him in the face and threw him to the ground in front of all the participants of the meeting.

“Despite the fact that I was bleeding from the nose and mouth, he forced me to write a statement saying that I would transfer my land to the reserve of the hokimiyat if I did not transfer the money to the account.

After that, the hokim sent officers from the Department of Internal Affairs to my house to pick up the seal of my farm (the seal is official proof which confirms the authenticity of the farmer’s statement – ed.). When they brought the seal, the hokim stood over me and made me sign a payment order to transfer 25 million soum to another farmer’s account”, farmer Orif Durmatov told Xabar.uz.

UGF has dozens of documented cases of insults, beatings and various kinds of physical and verbal abuse used by Uzbek officials to put pressure on farmers.