Shukhrat Saparov, a 29-year-old farmer from the Beruni district in Karakalpakstan, tried to commit suicide by hanging himself in the barn of his cowshed on April 24. The man survived thanks to the help of relatives who freed him from the noose in time. The man was taken to a district hospital where he is in serious condition.
A video was published on the Ozodlik Radio website showing how doctors provided first aid to the farmer who was unconscious in an ambulance. The voices of the farmer’s relatives can be heard explaining to the paramedics that the man had drunk vinegar before trying to hang himself. The farmer’s father, explaining the reasons for his son’s suicide attempt, says that “the hokim subjected his son to unbearable suffering.”
Shukhrat Saparov has managed his farm since 2005. In an interview with Ozodlik, his relative said that a meeting of farmers had recently been held, during which the hokim of the Beruni district and his deputy for agricultural issues told Saparov that they were taking away his land. They explained their decision by saying that, the farmer had planted melons on part of his land instead of cotton. At the meeting, officials insulted Saparov and drove him out.
An official from the Beruni district administration, who didn’t want to be named, confirmed that Saparov’s land was taken away because he had decided to plant melons and gourds in his field instead of cotton.
Incidences of suicide among Uzbek farmers are not uncommon. It is believed that they are resorting to such extreme measures due to constant pressure from the authorities and burdensome cotton quotas.
Last month, Ozodlik reported on a suicide attempt of Shukhratjon Rakhimov, a farmer from the Yazavan district of the Fergana region. Fortunately, his relatives managed to save him. In an interview with Ozodlik, he said that he tried to commit suicide because the district hokim insulted him and confiscated his land. Rakhimov also said that the hokim ordered him to plant walnut saplings on four hectares of land, and, when the farmer carried out the order, which cost him 38 million soum (approximately $ 4,500 US), the hokim ordered him to raze them to the ground.