Uzbekistan: Farmers allegedly threatened and pressured into giving up their lands to cotton companies, resulting in poverty; incl. company response & NGO rejoinder
The Uzbek Forum for Human Rights reports that under Uzbekistan's privatisation program, farmers have been forced to "voluntarily" give up their lands for use by cotton companies, leading to poverty and insecurity.
According to the article, "Private cluster operators have been able to take over vast swathes of farmland without having to pay a penny in compensation to farmers for their losses because, according to Uzbek law, there is no legal obligation to pay compensation as long as the land lease terminations are voluntary... However, the term ‘voluntary’ in an authoritarian setting such as Uzbekistan [obscures] the degree of coercion exercised by government officials, who wield disproportionate and arbitrary power..."
Petromaruz (owner of Surxon Cotton Textile Cluster LLC and Tashkent Cotton Textile Cluster), Indorama Group, Uztex (owner of Shovot Tekstil and Textile Finance Khorezm Clusters) did not respond.
Silverleafe International responded with claims that the article contained inaccuracies.