• Uzbekistan’s human rights record is atrocious. Torture is endemic in the criminal justice system. Authorities intensified their crackdown on civil society activists, opposition members, and journalists. Muslims and Christians who practice their religion outside strict state controls are persecuted, and freedom of expression is severely limited. The government forces more than one million adults and children to harvest cotton under abusive conditions. Authorities still deny justice for the 2005 Andijan massacre, in which government forces shot and killed hundreds of protesters, most of them unarmed. Despite this, the United States and European Union continue to advance closer relations with Uzbekistan, seeking cooperation with the war in Afghanistan.


  • Uzbekistan’s human rights record remained abysmal across a wide spectrum of violations. The country is virtually closed to independent scrutiny. Freedom of expression is severely limited. Authorities continue to crack down on rights activists, harass activists living in exile, and persecute those who practice their religion outside strict state controls. Forced labor of adults and children continues.



  • Nov 19, 2014
    “When my husband went into prison I was 38-years-old. I’m now 58,” says Holbika Juraeva. Through tears, she says she fears he will never be released alive.
  • Oct 3, 2014
    In mid-September a London-based public relations agency made an appeal to “Free Gulnara NOW,” claiming that Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbek president Islam Karimov, was “under house arrest” and “being held for purely political reasons.
  • Sep 26, 2014
    Sanjar Umarov lifted his pants legs and rolled down his socks to show the scars that criss-crossed his ankles. Umarov, a former political prisoner from Uzbekistan, said the scars served as a permanent reminder of his time in the “monkey cage,” a cell that left prisoners exposed to the outdoors. His first time in that cell, the frigid winter almost killed him. He and the other prisoners, wearing only lightweight shirts and pants, rocked back and forth to keep warm and stay alive.
  • Sep 25, 2014
    Human rights activists, journalists, and others imprisoned by the Uzbek government on politically motivated charges suffer torture and abysmal prison conditions.
  • Aug 13, 2014

    This memorandum provides an overview of Human Rights Watch’s main concerns with respect to the human rights situation in Uzbekistan, submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (“the Committee”) in advance of its pre-sessional review of Uzbekistan in July 2014. We hope it will inform the Committee’s preparation for its upcoming review of the Uzbek government’s compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“the Covenant”).

  • Jun 23, 2014
    Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned by Uzbekistan’s appalling human rights record across a wide spectrum of violations. Authorities target civil society activists, political opposition figures, and independent journalists. Human Rights Watch is also deeply concerned about the serious human rights situation in Venezuela, which is the worst we have seen in the country in years.
  • Jun 20, 2014
    The United States government’s decision to place Uzbekistan in the lowest category of its annual human trafficking report sends a message of solidarity to the well over a million Uzbeks forced to pick the country’s cotton crop, the Cotton Campaign, of which Human Rights Watch is a member, said today.
  • Jun 20, 2014
  • Jun 9, 2014
    The World Bank should not proceed with projects directly benefiting Uzbekistan’s cotton industry until the Uzbek government has taken meaningful steps to end grave human rights violations in cotton production, including forced labor.
  • Jun 5, 2014
    A court in Uzbekistan ordered the release of a human rights defender on medical grounds on May 31, 2014.