REPORT ON THE SITUATION WITH HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN FOR THE YEAR 2009
1. THE RIGHT OF SANCTIONS WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE COURT AND WHAT HAS CHANGED BY NOW 2. UZBEKISTAN IS A COUNTRY WHERE THE RELIGIOUS GROUPS ARE REPRESSED 3. CHILD LABOUR IS ACTUALLY UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM IN UZBEKISTAN 4. TORTURE IS A PRODUCT OF REPRESSIVE POLICIES OF GOVERNMENT AND CORRUPTION 5. OUR VALIANT POLICE! 6. NO FREEDOM FOR UNDESIRABLE! 7. THE COMMON MISCHIEF OR WHAT IS THE PROBLEM: THOSE WHO COMMAND OR THOSE WHO EXECUTE? 8. BLOOD FOR BLOOD SOUL FOR SOUL
INTRODUCTION The present analytic report brings to your attention which incorporates individual cases of the encroachment of human rights, violations of the civil and political rights of individuals in our country. The Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik” behavior investigation and analysis of these facts was reducing to various instances of government officials, law enforcement and government agencies. The Society was unable to get satisfactory answers from the majority instances. In some cases the Society was put under pressure from corrupt circles, as well as some heads of state power, who abusing own official position. We are hope that this brief conclusion makes if not minor at least important contribution to the coverage of the situation on the democratic and human rights in our country.
Most of these cases studied by our activists’ shows that the judicial-legal system of country is depressed situation. Confirmation of such a bleak pattern are such facts as the prejudicial inquiry conducting and interrogation under tortures; does not guarantee the openness of the inquiry and questioning, concealed conduction of at-trial procedures at religious prisoners; augmentation of the additional terms to set time on several years. That’s all facts are became practice nowadays. In below press releases and speeches of the Society has recognized that management of the Government has come to a paralysis state, in the power structures are flourishing corruption and organized crime, the mechanism of human resources policies into practice has not been developed.
In this research, as the command basis was adopted the supremacy requirements of national legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In particular, it was recognized that the most of the series of enforceable demands had been violating by articles №24, 40, 41, 43, 44 and 49 of the Criminal-Procedure Code, the articles №26, 116 of the Basic Law is the Constitution of Uzbekistan, the article №7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention against torture, violence and other inhumane acts. Expressing briefly, the above legal norms are reflect the issues of protection against cruel treatment regarding to the human rights, his honor, dignity and freedom.
We would like to see you, dear reader, when you will in sighting of this report please let pay undivided attention to cited therein each occurrence with the standpoint of social, political and legal sides. Also you can express your opinion and proposition through the public work departments of the Society’s activists. We are grateful for your views about this report form and its direction, mainly about the real issues that was remained out of our viewing field.
Please contact the central office of the Society “Ezgulik” with questions and for obtaining a print version of report at the following address: Tashkent city, 7, Navoi street, office № 418
In case of reprint the reference to the source is required.
1. THE RIGHT OF SANCTIONING PRE-TRIAL ARREST WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE COURT AND WHAT HAS CHANGED Nowadays conception finally has shaped that the Court is an independent branch of government. Without undue comment might say that the practical effectiveness and the form of circumstances in different countries are various. Courts of USA and the democratic West with a long-term experience and good practice will not arising any problems on the current issue. Courts of Uzbekistan from theoretical point of view are going by democratic way. At the article №11 of the Constitution of Uzbekistan has allocated the state power is divided into three branches. And the activity of each branch is independent from each other.
According to researchers the idea of separation of the judiciary from the legislative and executive branches of government, providing it as an independent branch of government arose in ancient times. The philosophers of that period are underscored to a number of mandatory features which inheriting by this theory. In compliance with these features, inside of the state has going the independent elements which does implement specific functions. As noted above the situation in Uzbekistan is exactly thus by theory. However in practice, you can see the opposite pattern. All of three independent branches of government have been following by an authoritarian leader and his team, because country is authoritarian.
For example, an announcement of Habeas Corps reform, i.e. transferring of permission’s arrest to courts from the prosecutor's office. One of the important moments of an independent judiciary is the question about realizing arrest a man who they want to limit his freedom. In accordance with the requirements of reform, the question of restrainting a person of liberty must be resolved in open sitting of a court, with the participation of the parties and the process has bearing a free social character. How did the requirements of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan have realizing on practice (LRU-№100) «On making additions and changes to legislation in connection with the transfer issue arrest warrants to the courts»? Consider this process as an example the arrest of three well-known representatives of civil society.
► Usmonov Kushodbek was born in 1946 in Andijan region. Nationality is Uzbek and citizen of Uzbekistan. On 5th of January, 2009 year was announced in absent warrants by chairman Rakhimov Rakhmatulla of Andijan city court on criminal cases. On January 10, 2009 Usmonov Kushodbek was arrested on suspicion of committing crimes by articles №139 and №277 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Later by verdict Asaka district court on criminal cases, he was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.
Please take note of the changes about the transfer of the courts powers to arrest, this action is performed by judge of first instance at the place of the crime. These instances are deciding the question of restraint measures against the accused. Firstly, allegedly of Usmanov K. litigation related to his arrest is illegal, precisely because to the Andijan city court he has no relations. Secondly, the definition was decreed in absentia. Thirdly, the right of identity protection is not provided. This implies the attorney of Asaka district Akmal Karimov and investigator of prosecutor’s office Valiev Alisher are retrieval of the accused who was at home purposely to illegally imprison him. Thus, they are misled the court to obtain an arrest warrant. And the court succumbed to this provocation and violated the requirements of the Habeas Corps. The defendant Usmonov K. has been appealed to the courts at various levels by this definition. The arrest is absolute because today we have not the precedent of jail release. That is why the complaints has considered superficial and the restraint measure was remained unchanged. Usmonov Kushodbek was released after six months' imprisonment of the investigation and courts. Currently he is engaging to restore violated rights in the higher courts.
In accordance with the criminal case, Usmonov Kushodbek allegedly have been slandered the police captain Kosimov Khabibullo and insulted his honor and human dignity. He made ruffian acts against son of the younger brother of and inflicted bodily injury.
► Saidov Dilmurod was born in 1962 in Tashkent. Nationality is Uzbek, citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan. On 22nd of February 2009 at the trial of the Samarkand City Court on Criminal cases chaired by Judge T. Toshev have been considered the issue of restraint of liberty of Saidov D. on suspicion of crimes specified in part 2 of article №165 and part 1 of article №228 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Though requirements of the accused, Saidov’s advocate Komilov Rukhiddin was not invited to the judicial sitting by trial. Thus, has been violated defendant's right to protection. Acting unlawfully, the court to show the right to defense of Saidov D., in definition assigned Koraboev’s A. name. Although nor Saidov D., nor his relatives did not know Koraboev A. and didn’t hire him as an advocate.
Except as dry prosecutor's demand, at the court process do not provided any documents, any material evidence and serious allegations about Saidov’s D. deprivation of freedom. Though Saidov’s D. demands, he does not given a word and he does not afforded to give the right of defence. The reclaiming note complained on the current definition of a court by advocate Rukhiddin Komilov was rejected by the Samarkand regional court on criminal cases. The advocate was clarified that complain of a reclaiming note to the Supreme Court such as this Definitions are extralegal (!). Actually the fact of arrest’s Saidov D. by the Department to strafing with tax and currency crimes and legalization of illegal proceeds and Samarkand regional prosecutor's office is wrong.
Saidov D. was arrested on the evidence of Jurayeva Marguba who already arrested by the Department. The innocence of the journalist was proved during the trial on the question of deprivation of liberty holding under the chairmanship of Judge Toshev T. During the trial Jurayeva Marguba has changed her testimony that she gave during the preliminary interrogations. She claimed at that time she was drunk.
In accordance with the materials of the criminal case, a citizen Jurayeva Marguba allegedly joined in a criminal conspiracy with Saidov D. They wrote complaints to various authorities on the chairman of MMTP “Farovon hayot yuli” Urinboyev Asliddin and the ex-chairman of the collective farm “Uzbekistan” of Boymurodov Saidullo to occupy their property. Jurayeva Marguba was arrested by officers of the Department at the time when by fraud she has received from Urinboeva Asliddin 10 000 USA dollars.
► Isokov Abduvali was born in 1963 year in the Kuvin district of Ferghana region. He worked as an advocate at the law firm "Feruzbek-MK". Fifth of March 2009 year he was arrested by Ferghana regional administration of the National Security Council. He was arraigned by articles №168 and №211 of the Criminal the Republic of Uzbekistan by prosecutor's office. The issue of restraint of detention had been resolved by Ferghana city court on criminal cases. Practice of the Corps Habeas provides that when determining sanctions in the form of detention, the court ensured the right to protection. However during the trial no request, no demand of advocate was not satisfied. The regional prosecutor was attending as a government lawyer. There is irrefutable evidence that the trial was unfair. The adoption at the hearing of the facts gathered during the preliminary questioning; do mismatch to the requirements of the laws.
Abdullayeva Dilrabokhon was attracted to investigative actions of the Regional Department of Internal Affairs of Kuvin district on accusation by article №131 (Pandering) of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan. Isokov Abduvali appropriated Abdullayeva’s D. cashes in pretence of "... I'll give the judge". In fact, in accordance with the contract between an advocate and client, Isokov Abduvali has received 500 USA dollars from Abdullayeva Dilrabokhon, gave her a receipt and a check. Thus, the marked money with the special red color by NSC staff the advocate has received this as a fee for own services. The statement of NSC could not confirm instance by any audio- materials and any material evidences. Hence the law enforcement agencies fitted his up.
► Valieva Victoria is director of the well-known law office "Valikon". On 11th of June, 2009 had brought a criminal case regarding to Valieva Victoria. As a result of this legal process advocate testifies in the Regional Department of Internal Affairs of Mirabad district realized on decision №15/115L taken by the prosecutor of Tashkent Valiev Badriddin. She was charged on Part 2 of Article №227 (Ruffianism) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. If this situation will develop in the direction of prosecutorial positions, as desired the investigating authority, it is probably that this woman has devoted more than 10 years of life for protecting the rights of citizens, will have sent to prison. If you look at the sequence of this situation, it’s becomes evident to us, how brought unfair accusation against Valieva Victoria Yurevna.
It should be noted that the advocate made a tough act in the Mirabad inter-district civil court at 23rd of April 2009. At the same time had considered the case about family quarrel of the colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan Ivannikov O. During the trial which was held under the chairmanship of Judge Sattorova O., plaintiff Militsina A. and the defendant Ivannikov O., the process for a civil case became into a verbal brawl. The advocate, who was the representative of one of the witnesses (i.e. a third person – note of Society “Ezgulik”), allegedly beat Latunina T., the ex-spouse of a colonel. Using a cell phone, she has struck a close damage of brain. During the expert examination had been carrying through half-monthly, found that received a concussion of the brain, damaged soft tissues of the neck and nose, and have a bruises under the eye. Can you imagine that all these injuries to the ex-wife of the police governing employee have been injurious by the fragile woman with a plastic cell phone weighted not more than 60-70 gram?
In fact, that is happened standing by the judges Sattorova O. (presiding at the trial) and between the participants played out the usual verbal altercation who not restrain could own passions. There will never a mistake to say that the aim is making criminal accountable of advocate Valieva V. and hide from the public separation very expensive cars between the colonel and his ex-wife. Currently, the fulcrum shifted from expensive foreign cars, which is rare not only in our capital but throughout the country, to the question about the advocate who couldn’t defend oneself who was powerless against slander. There is a very low level of qualifications of the investigator and an indifference of prosecutor's office. That is all reflects the usual condition of paralysis in the prevailing system of law enforcement.
Unfortunately, the advocate does not understand this. Her faith in justice and in truth interfere her to fully assess this situation. Therefore, she makes a claim for unlawful actions of the investigator, officials of local police and prosecutors who are just cogs of carousel. In current treatments she pointed that the investigator was not invited the judge as a witness who was a true witness of this accident. As for the local inspector (who has been conducted preliminary inquiries) he was admitted a gross violations of legality. Mailboxes of General Prosecutor and the President's House packed her statements. She genuinely surprised that, being a lawyer, she can not defend oneself. She offended at the House counsel, the reins of governance passed into other hands.
2. UZBEKISTAN IS A COUNTRY WHERE THE RELIGIOUS GROUPS ARE REPRESSED Most of the complaints incoming to the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik”, devoted to the fact that believers are being repressed, accused of belonging to a religious radical flow. The facts relating to freedom of conscience, published in annual reports of our Society, shows that the dynamics of the number of victims in the country that suffered for their faith, changes in arithmetic progression. Despite the fact that the country has a law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations", a number of believers is growing who are serving a prison sentences. The various religious, radical tendencies are «invented» by Law machinery. In short, the regime allows the repression to believers has become a mechanism for ignition.
The country has virtually no statistics of affiliation (membership) to religious groups. However approximately 90 percent of the population belongs to the Muslim direction of "Hanafiya". Population referring to Shiite Islam is less than one percent. This part of the population lives in certain regions. Approximately 4.5 percent of the population is Orthodox Christians and ethnic Russian and about three per cent is the Roman Catholics, Korean Christians, Baptists, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, evangelical churches, Buddhist, bahaists, Hari Krishna and atheists. As to 1st January 2009 year the Ministry of Justice registered 2,231 religious societies. There are more than 2000 mosques, Islamic organizations and educational centers of Islam.
Thoroughly checked all e-mail addresses incoming to the International Post Office in Tashkent, have been sent mainly to the faithful people, as well as their banking and financial transfers. It is also noted that for the faithful people is a barrier for visas for travel to other countries in the world.
► The statement say that the edition’s workers published in our republic magazine “Irmok” (" The Stream ") and newspaper “Yetti Iqlim" ("Seven climatic zones") were arrested on suspicion of belonging to the "Nurchilar" ("Light bearer") flow. Information has attracted the attention of mass media and international organizations. The commentary on the subject which gave the media services’ director of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan Svetlana Ortikova denies the situation that occurred with the staff of editors. However after some time it became clear that the representative of the General Prosecutor's Office told the lie. Several journalists were actually arrested on suspicion of involvement in the "Nurchilar" flow. And the Tashkent city court is in the process of initiated criminal proceedings against them.
In this case this mass media which has thousands of readers is one of the few publications, awarded by an international organization UNESCO. Publication is differentiate with a refined design and has attracted the attention of interesting articles. That is why the public was necessary need to comment on all the situation of the publisher. However this did not happen. Investigative procedures, questioning, arrest of the editorial staff were kept secret. However information about it had spread among the public in a suspicious and unsightly form.
Though the fact that Bakhrom Ibragimov, Davron Kabilov, Ravshabek Vafoyev, Abdulaziz Dadakhonov and Botirbek Eshkuziev who are directly members of the magazine "Irmok" and its founders were arrested in early August 2008 year. On September 24th, 2008 year the criminal case against them under article №244 of the Criminal Code Uzbekistan was brought by the Investigation Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan of the National Security Council. The Criminal case at the beginning of this year was sent for consideration by the Tashkent city court on criminal cases. At present time the trial presided over by Judge Yigitaliev already coming to an end. And another judicial proceeding this time against Davron Tojiyev and Shavkat Alimov, who are members of another edition of the founders of the newspaper "Yetti Iqlim" is just beginning. At the request of relatives of the defendants who appealed to the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik”, activists of the Society learned this indictment.
First of all, the indictment of 100 pages of small print is questioned the seriousness of the preliminary investigation and inquiry, drawn up by the Investigative Division of the National Security Council of Uzbekistan Rustam Mamatkulov, also the attached surface expert opinion of the Office of Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers. In addition, according to defendants, they were compelled to testify because they exerted a systematic psychological pressure and physical torture by. These people almost deprived of their rights to protection not shown to relatives. The indictment against them is built on false testimony and forced confessions notes.
Most of the evidence is a religious literature published in our country and freely sold in our markets. It is used in justification of defendants' guilt in the creation of illegal religious organizations and the threat to public safety. Frivolity of the charges of endangering public safety confirming by the fact that among the evidence on the count of a criminal case are also included brochures of Zuhriddinov Husniddinov who is a former advisor to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the generosity of religious and ethnic harmony, as well as audio cassettes of folk artists and scientists of Uzbekistan to promote the Islamic religion.
► The facts that the leader of the movement "Nurchilar" Fathulla Gulen is a person that have a strong influence on the development of the Republic of Turkey are unwarranted. The suspects of the movement and defendants are threatening situation in our country. In fact promoted in the indictment the radical religious motive to all high school graduates in 1997-1998 years funded by the Turkish sponsors, it is a hint at the beginning of large-scale operative extents of law enforcement agencies. In particular, many young people who graduate of high schools are working in various management levels in our country. This applicants and an investigator R. Mamatkulov who composed to the above indictment is a graduate of Jizak Turkish Lyceum.
In addition, one of the most important developments has been to cancel out Muslims for Hajj and “Umrah” (partial hajj). This is very frustrating circumstance. Because the cancellation was made at a time when about 5000 Muslims have already purchased tickets and have other costs associated with the departure for the pilgrimage.
Despite the fact that Uzbekistan remains the boundary, where religious freedom is in danger, in our country the number of believers continues to rise. The scale of the reading of namaz is accrued collective manner. Clearly the paradox able factors are a massive injustice and total poverty. People are filling a despondency and misery by the reading Namaz. Growth of offenses for 2008 year by the security forces is increasing. The representatives of the police are administering their rules in such important areas as torture, corruption and falsification of evidence. Against the backdrop of state legal rhetoric and efforts to improve national legislation states the police turn into a “state within a state”, living by its own rules. This fact has worried tendency to increase secrecy and autonomy of law enforcement. Proof to these facts is increased repression against members of religious families and the increase of the violations against civil society activists. No real independent institution of the legal profession bears their fruit. Such disregard for the law enforcement agencies can lead to feelings of insecurity of citizens and the real growth of radicalism, including and religious radicalism in society.
3. CHILD LABOUR IS ACTUALLY UNSOLVABLE ISSUE IN UZBEKISTAN For several years the international community represented by various international organizations unsuccessfully raised the issue of exploitation of child labor in Uzbekistan. The Government of Uzbekistan can not eliminate any form of exploitation of child labor. The scale of the problem is expanding from year to year. This problem is obtaining already political case. For example, last year alone 8000 students from schools in the republic 10000 schools were forcibly removed to the cotton fields. Many of these students were victims of cotton harvest campaign. However neither the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan or any other state authorities did not pay attention to it. Instead they have chosen to conceal such facts. Meanwhile the Uzbek Government on December 3, 1992 recognized the international Convention “On the Right of the Child”. This international document duly ratified by the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan. However many decrees and orders of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on youth policy stated priority of child rights.
We note your attention to some of the materials published by the Society for Human Rights of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik”. Materials are devoted to cotton-picking season for last year. And we are once again convinced that this situation leaves something to be desired.
► Inherently the above unfortunate situations is the issue of forced withdrawal of children in the cotton plantations. For example, as it became known from documents that have managed to get it from activists of the Jizak regional branch of the Society, the director of the Gallaaralsky professional college I. Ravshanov formally appealed to the regional hokim A. Hushbokov and regional attorney U. Rajabov with the request to punish the students who refused to participate in the cotton-picking campaign in 2007 year. Thus this persecution of these students started as S. Ibragimov, Kh. Tursunov, B. Mamatov, S. Abdurakhmonova, A. Berdimurodov, U. Hayitboev, B. Tangrikulov, B. Mirzabekova and S. Narzullaev. These people are declined to participate in the mass hashar.
From the contents of this letter shows that students of professional colleges forcibly deprived of the right to education and are subjected to mass hashar. Unfortunately, the situation in a systematic manner is repeated in all areas of our republic.
The terrorist action of the Government called as hashar, do not shy away from the representatives of other spheres. In more than 20 appeals came to the Society “Ezgulik” from farmers, it is the involvement of students to hashar not an initiative of farmers, but are under the direct supervision of state authorities.
► On November 2008 year the Egashevs family living in the village Batosh Guzar district of the Kashkadarya region had coming the mourning. A member of this family 15-year-old Ergashev Jahangir became the victim of cotton-picking campaign. Jahangir came back half alive from a cotton field died at home. Guy has embarrassed parents and public pressure did not show how much he was hurt. The poor guy did not scream in pain of the wounds all over his body. Crouching from pain guy just managed to tell her younger sister that someone was beaten...
The guy who had only just turned 15 years graduated from the 9th grade school, entered to the Guzar professional college. In early September a guy is going to participate in “the nationwide hashar” burning passion and love for life. He like others of his age wanted to acquire knowledge and contribute to the improvement of honor and respect for his family. Unfortunately, those good intentions went awry. After the death of boy left his mother suffering from grief and his father hides his pain. Now some of the teachers will be punished. Administration of the college will suffer from the "victim" in the way of peace of the country and the nation. Among the Uzbeks in such cases parents feel restrictively to contact somewhere and live with the thought: “... the dead did not return. Even if we ask about the details of the death of our son, he still will not rise again.” It is for this reason the Government is driving the unfortunate children in the cotton fields.
► In the meantime in early November the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik” is reported that three teenagers of the Chamanzor village of Mirishkor district have been fell victim to the "national pride". Last year the Society is reported that in the economy of Usman Yusupov of the Nishon district in a cotton field tractor ran over 14-year-old boy, and Jondor district of Bukhara region there was a tragedy of brother and sister. Society has urged the government to stop this barbarity. However these calls have remained unheeded.
► According to the activists of the Syrdarya region branch of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik” before the mobilization to the cotton fields the students of all higher and secondary special institutions, during the regional conference call witnessed the following fact. Deputy Hakim of the Syrdarya region Shodmonkulov Oybek referring to the head of the district and the city department of education, as well as members of the education system he exclaimed: "Those who would agitate against the participation of students in the cotton harvest is that the enemy of the people!" His approval officer commented on the fact that cotton is our national wealth, and his collection of lossless is an urgent task. He gave specific instructions to the heads of local state authorities and representatives of public organizations.
► In last year's releases the Human Rights Society “Ezgulik” is reported that students at the school №69, located in the village Schoch Usmon collective economy "Mustakillik" of Forish district of the Jizzakh region, forcibly have brought to the cotton harvest. As a result unsupervised student grade 8 Norboev Lochin died in a cotton field. In the release stated that the teacher’s book is filled even in the period when the students were on the cotton fields. They have marked to the students at that time on specific subjects. It was also reported that relatives of Lochin on the fact of death filed a complaint with law enforcement authorities and as a result of the school teachers have been prosecuted.
Eventually the Forish District Court in criminal cases (under the chairmanship of Judge Boybutaev B.K.) sentenced its verdict on the case. Teachers of this school Juraev J., Holbutaev A., Fozilov B., Rahmonkulov Z., Norboev O., Sirliboev U. Norzhigitov O., Darhonov K., Sandiboev J., Bolibekov N., Kilicheva S. and Boysinov A. were convicting under article №228 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. However the criminal proceedings were discontinue because the fact of the offense has lost its property of social danger. Director of this school Ganiev A. was prosecuted under articles №167 and №209 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. He divested the right to hold responsible positions in the education system. And he has been sentenced to two years as a moral corrective labor. All participants in the criminal case were brought to a fine of a certain size. The teacher salaries of 335 638 soums paid by them during the students' participation in the cotton harvest have been returned to the district finance department.
However with the beginning new school year children were usually brought to the cotton. Ganiev A. devoid of two years some of this right re-appointed director of the school. In the sentence the court handed down last year on the occasion of an event does not reflect any of the circumstances associated with child labor and forced recruitment of children to pick cotton. Shifting, thus, the blame hokim and his team on the shoulders of teachers at the school, district prosecutors and the judiciary could save them from sin. This political decision of the Government was confirmed by the courts of higher instance, and the prosecuting authorities at higher levels did not give a protest on the verdict.
► On 14 October this year was held a protest demonstration in front of the Uzbek Embassy in Washington for demanding the return of Uzbek children from the cotton plantations. Every hour growing number of those who support this action, which is organized by the American Federation of Teachers, the Forum for protection of workers 'rights, the Union against child labor, employees' associations, as well as several non-governmental organizations.
At the same time the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik” have information from unofficial sources that in the Nishan district of Kashkadarya region few parents protested to the local public authority and demanded not to attract children to pick cotton. According to preliminary data more than a dozen parents who tried to protest by demonstrating, with difficulty managed to escape from persecution district prosecutor's office and police and save their lives. Department of Internal Affairs has been brought for ten farmers in administrative cases on charges of disturbing public order. These farmers are fined in various sizes.
However the duty of the Department of Internal Affairs Nishan district has not confirmed this information. Under this circumstance the regional and district prosecutor's office denied that the Department of Internal Affairs’ executives are resigned. However our activists are continuing inquiries on this situation and trying to find out the facts.
According to some data coming into our Society from various fields in mainstream schools, district and municipal education departments held meeting at which it was noted that this year the school will not be closed due to a cotton-picking campaign that students will not be compelled to participate in hashar. However due to many years of slavish habits, social needs, command and control methods to link local government again there are cases of recruitment of children to harvest cotton. Meanwhile after the protests of child labor in Uzbekistan, calls for the organization of human rights, the Government of Uzbekistan was forced to acknowledge the existence of the problem. Its hold a few events even throw dust in eyes to the international community.
► The other day through the cotton-picking campaign in about 600 of the 840 schools suspended classes of students 7, 8 and 9 classes. These schools are administered by the Office of Public Education of the Surkhandarya regional hokimiyat. Nobody knows when to return to their classrooms for about 90 thousand students which voluntarily-forcibly evicted on cotton plantations. According to local schools’ teachers is confirming, if not today and then tomorrow will be brought to hashar even students of junior classes. In Kashkadarya and Bukhara regions also initiated action aimed at closing schools.
The schoolboy who operated under the leadership of local government and the prosecution authorities as the guarantor of legality for every kilogram of harvested cotton provides pay from 80 soums (about 5 cents – Noted by “Ezgulik” Society). Children who have refused to participate in the cotton-picking campaign under the theme "Cotton - 2009" will come under the target of the wrath of the school administration, mahallya and the public. We can not speak about the working conditions of young collectors which under various mottos kicked collect white gold, ripe late due to bad weather conditions.
From the earliest days of cotton-picking campaign the government of Uzbekistan has shown that not adhere strictly to their promises. Meanwhile the Government had argued the adoption of national legislation and state program safeguards the rights of the child.
The government also argued that strictly follows international legal norms on the subject. Government exhibited false calls by the international community, diplomatic missions, human rights societies. Just this alone have pursuit caused a desire in the hope that at least this year the Uzbek government refused the use of child labor and treatment of children as slaves.
► In the various mass media are the facts relating to the use of child labor, recruitment of children for seasonal hashar in Khorezm, Ferghana and Jizzah regions of our country. Communications, information, telephone calls received by the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan “Ezgulik” also show that despite the statements and promises of officials in Uzbekistan to the international community in the country is continuing the exploitation of child labor. As stated in the communications of activists of our Society in Urgut district of Samarkand region, Nishan and Karshi district of Kashkadarya unlawfully employing child labor. The situation was also confirmed by interviews of our activists in the fields Urgut and Nishan districts that have been carried out with children.
The rainy spring of this year has complicated by the germination of cotton and other crops. Before the shoots of cotton crops the soil was covered with a crust and plenty of weeds. Therefore at the initiative of many regional hokimiyats were organized assault groups. In these groups along with older workers were involved in secondary school students from grade 4 and ending with 9 classes. They were engaged in weeding, released crop area of weeds, loosen the soil hoes. Children worked in the fields from 8 am to 7 pm with a half-hour break for lunch. Due to the fact that the rainy spring weather is still ongoing, cotton is not yet fully returned shoots. And therefore there is no possibility to carry out farming practices with a tractor. That is why children worked the fields.
► According to saying of 5th grade pupil named Khilola, she dealing with thinning in the fields farming association "Shirinobod" of Nishan district of Kashkadarya. The farmer pays them for work daily at 3000 soums (1.7 USA dollars). If a student will say that going to work in the field, that he is a member of the strike group, the teachers at the school allowed him to skip over classes. However, the fact that this hashar is not organized on the initiative of school administrators, and students are attracted to this not from the schools, therefore the number of children working in the fields, relatively small. A lot of children go on the field at the insistence of parents and because of the hardship finance situation in the family. The groups argued that the reason why children go to the fields is poverty. At the present time children go to the fields to insistence of parents. If one objective side of the problem of child labor is poverty, and the second side of the problem is forcing children to work by parents and the local administration.
Children are already realized fully that the exploitation of child labor is unacceptable. If a long time ago small employees did not contradict to take a picture or video but at present they express their discontent and try to avoid an occasion to talk. For this reason it was not possible to capture in a photo and film material situation in the fields of Urgut, Nishan and Karshi regions.
The photograph shows the involvement of children in an episode last spring’s seasonal hashar.