• 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 atrocious rights record did not discernibly improve in 2014. Authoritarian President Islam Karimov, who entered his 25th year in power, continued to employ a widespread security apparatus to monitor and crack down on activities of real and perceived opponents.

Reports

Uzbekistan

  • 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 29, 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.
  • 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.