Hunger-striking Uzbek inventor taken to police

Junayev's stone collector's whereabouts have been unknown since 1996
Inventor Nabijon Junayev, who has been on a hunger strike in an economic court in Tashkent since 3 December, demanding his stone collector be returned, was taken to a police station this morning.

Nabijon Junayev from the town of Chust in Namangan Region today, the third day of his hunger strike in the building of the Higher Economic Court of Uzbekistan in Tashkent, was taken to a nearby police station.

When Tashkent-based human rights activists came there, a police officer, Lt Dmitriy Salabayev, told them the inventor had not been detained but invited for an interview.

“We received a signal from the Chilanzar district police department that a man was sitting in the economic court who needed help. So we invited him to find out how we could help,” Salabayev said.

According to the officer, police did not have any complaints against the inventor.

Moreover, police suggested a lawyer for Junayev called Jumaboy, who promised to help the inventor comprehensively.

Tashkent-based human rights activist Abdullo Tojiboy-ugli thinks that police used the abovementioned lawyer in order to lead the inventor astray and to create an impression that his problem is being resolved, but in fact to distract him from his hunger strike and the protest in general.

But the inventor from Namangan, Tojiboy-ugli learnt, is not going to submit to provocation but to continue his fight to return his stone collector.

“He [Junayev] plans to return to the court building and continue his hunger strike,” Tojiboy-ugli said.

Junayev, 65, started to devise his invention back in 1982 and finished it in 1989. He created a stone collector capable of collecting 90 tonnes of stones an hour. For his invention, Junayev received two inventor’s certificates and two production patents.

In 1996, the inventor signed an agreement with the State Specialised Design Department (SSDD) for irrigation, but the latter virtually deceived him by failing to implement its agreement commitments while it is unknown where they sent the prototype stone collector.

“SSDD managers have for several years promised to return the machine or money, but in 2004, when it was revealed that they were simply pulling my leg. So I filed a suit with the economic court,” Junayev said.

The conflict ended in a court litigation that lasted for eight years with varied success for the inventor.

In October 2011, the Higher Economic Court dropped the case by deciding that there was nothing to exact from the SSDD after it changed its form of ownership and name.

After all, the inventor decided he could do nothing but go on a hunger strike in the reception room of the Higher Economic Court of Uzbekistan on 3 December.