• 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.




  • Feb 27, 2015
  • Feb 17, 2015
    The Uzbek authorities’ amnesty of a prominent journalist and independent religious figure should open the path to the release of other activists and religious believers imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of their fundamental rights.
  • Feb 2, 2015
    The decision by the World Bank’s internal watchdog not to investigate the link between the bank’s loans and Uzbek government-organized forced labor is alarming, the Cotton Campaign said today.
  • Jan 29, 2015
    Central Asia’s already poor human rights record deteriorated further in 2014, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan failed to uphold and in some cases further undermined their core human rights commitments.
  • Jan 28, 2015
  • Jan 28, 2015
    When it comes to authoritarian Uzbekistan’s dismal human rights record, the Obama administration says “strategic patience” should characterize its relationship with Tashkent. But the premise of strategic patience in Uzbekistan’s case is flawed because Tashkent plays by a different set of rules.
  • Dec 18, 2014
    The Uzbek government should free everyone imprisoned on politically motivated charges under its Constitution Day amnesty. The authorities should also carry out an effective investigation into the September 2014 death in custody of Nilufar Rahimjonova, a 37-year-old woman imprisoned on politically motivated charges.
  • Dec 17, 2014
    The World Bank’s internal watchdog should investigate whether bank projects are contributing to forced labor in Uzbekistan. The Cotton Campaign, a coalition of human rights, labor, investor, and business organizations dedicated to ending forced labor in the cotton sector of Uzbekistan, echoed calls that independent Uzbek groups made in a November 2014 letter to the Inspection Panel.
  • Nov 30, 2014
    The US administration should raise Uzbekistan’s abysmal human rights record at bilateral talks on December 1-2 and consider tough measures – including targeted sanctions – if concrete improvements are not made urgently. A tough, no-holds-barred approach could help mitigate some aspects of Tashkent’s ongoing rights crackdown.
  • Nov 26, 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 European Union External Action Service in advance of the EU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue to be held on November 18, 2014.