Uzbekistan: Release Elena Urlaeva!

(На русском

Elena Urlaeva, head of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan and outspoken critic of forced and child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector, was en route to a meeting March 1 with international worker rights observers when Uzbek police roughly detained then forcibly committed her to a psychiatric clinic for “treatment.” She remains there today. This is the latest in a pattern of violent actions conducted by the Uzbek state against Urlaeva, designed to prevent her from reporting on how the government forces more than a million Uzbek citizens to harvest cotton for state-run industries each year.

Please speak out today to demand the Uzbek government immediately release Elena Urlaeva!

Photo credit: Timur Karpov

To Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev:
 
I write to you today to demand the immediate release of human rights activist Elena Urlaeva, who was detained by Uzbek police on March 1, 2017, and is still being held against her will, undergoing forced treatment at a psychiatric institution.
 
This is not the first time your government has attempted to silence Ms. Urlaeva for documenting forced labor in Uzbekistan’s annual cotton harvest. The timing of this most recent attack against her is transparently aimed at preventing her from presenting evidence to international observers from the International Trade Union Confederation and World Bank Group.
 
Rather than attempting to hide evidence of your human rights violations, it is time you admitted them and worked with civil society actors like Ms. Urlaeva to improve your country’s adherence to its own laws and international standards. She must be released immediately and allowed to carry on her work.
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