Activists claim abuse by Uzbek government while documenting forced labor in cotton harvesting
- Human rights activists affiliated with the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan claimed they were detained and beaten by police after attempting to document forced labor conditions during the country’s cotton harvest.
- Two women arrested in late September reported being strip-searched and having a gynecological examination conducted in front of male officers.
- Uzbekistan, the fifth-largest cotton producer in the world, has long been under fire for the mass mobilization of its citizens into unpaid labor in the fields to ensure the millions of tons of the country’s major cash crop can be harvested and exported.
“Uzbekistan accused of brutal crackdown on activists investigating forced labour” (The Guardian)
“Arrested, threatened, beaten: The Uzbekistan activist who won’t give up” (BBC)
“Uzbekistan: Cotton Harvest Monitors Face Intimidation” (EurasiaNet)
(Image Credit: Mikhail Metzel/AP, via The Guardian)