Yet another method of preventing human rights activists from collecting accurate information on forced cotton laborers was witnessed in the fields this past weekend: Secret service employees ran ahead of activists and “advised” cotton pickers to keep silent.
Uzbek human rights activists have conducted a monitoring effort focused on the state of the educational process in the schools and colleges of the Tashkent region during the cotton harvest: students have not left to gather cotton, but are learning haphazardly.
While crossing the Uzbek-Kazakh border Angren journalist Dmitry Tikhonov was told that his new biometric passport has been programmed to notify border officials to thoroughly search him and to notify the central authorities in Tashkent each time he crosses the border. (1)
Shukhrat Rustamov, deputy chair at the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan, expected Prime Minister Mirzieev to take measures against the widespread inaction and indifference of Uzbek officials at all levels of government, who are failing to fulfill their direct professional responsibilities.