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10 November 2018 / Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan tries to end the use of forced labour in the cotton fields

In some ways, there is nothing surprising about the videos that have been doing the rounds on social media in Uzbekistan. In one, farmers and local officials in a district near Tashkent, the capital, were made to stand in a watery ditch, heads bowed, to show contrition for failing to irrigate wheat fields properly. In another, officials were made to heave heavy clods of clay into the air repeatedly as punishment for allowing such impediments to farming to accumulate on land they are in charge of. Such ritual humiliation is rife in Uzbekistan, where nearly three decades of dictatorship under Islam Karimov, the strongman who died in 2016, bred a culture of bullying and subservience.

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Journalist Detained for Exposing Hokim Ordering Teachers and Doctors to Pick Cotton
31 October 2018 / Uzbekistan

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 the hokim noticed the journalist’s presence, he interrupted the meeting.

Teachers in Turkmenistan forced to pick cotton during fall break
29 October 2018 / Turkmenistan

Teachers in Turkmenistan forced to pick cotton during fall break

Teachers in Turkmenistan’s second largest city, Turkmenabat, are having to spend their fall break picking cotton. Schools closed on October 21st for the whole nine-day break for the first time in 15 years, and teachers and maintenance staff are having to work in the cotton fields every day.

Kyrgyzstan: The Supreme Court overturns the decision of the lower court designating Reports of FIDH Member Organisations as “Extremist”
23 October 2018 / Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan: The Supreme Court overturns the decision of the lower court designating Reports of FIDH Member Organisations as “Extremist”

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan granted the petition of FIDH member organization Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan challenging the lower court’s designation of reports by Bir Duino and Anti-Discrimination Centre (ADC) “Memorial” as “extremist” and banning the activities of ADC “Memorial”. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH-OMCT) welcomes the decision, but calls on the judicial authorities to stop any judicial harassment against the two NGOs or censure of their reports upon reconsideration

16 October 2018 / Kyrgyzstan

Review of the KR legislation on creation of a list of extremist materials

In March this year, during the review of the official website of the KR Ministry of Justice, a list of extremist materials was found in the Activities section. Upon careful examination, it was revealed that in the document entitled "List of legal entities and Internet sites banned on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic" item No. 26 in the column "Name of legal entity (organization)" contained the following: Report of ADC Memorial submitted by the Human Rights Movement: Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan and the human rights organization Freedom House entitled: "A Chronicle of Violence: the Events in the South of Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 (Osh region)", and in the column "Grounds for including a legal entity in the List": "Decision of Oktyabrskiy District Court of Bishkek as of 05.01.17", and in the final column "Category of legal entity (organization)" it is indicated: "Extremist".

16 October 2018 / Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan: Free Gaspar Matalaev, end forced and child labour

Human rights defender Gaspar Matalaev has now spent more than two years in prison for the 'crime' of documenting the massive use of forced labour in the cotton fields of Turkmenistan.

16 October 2018 / Uzbekistan

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.