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Uzbekistan: Elena Urlaeva, activist campaigning against forced labour, detained in psychiatric institution

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20 March 2017

Uzbek activist detained for forced labour monitoring

Author: Louise Eldridge, Anti-Slavery International

Anti-Slavery International is extremely concerned about the latest incarceration of prominent Uzbek human rights activist Elena Urlaeva. Elena has been working for over a decade to raise awareness of ongoing forced labour in Uzbekistan’s cotton sector. Her arrest demonstrates the hostile climate for independent forced labour monitors, and the lack of genuine commitment by the Government to end its use of forced labour.

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20 March 2017

Uzbek campaigner against forced labour sent to psychiatric ward

Author: Scott Corben & Anna Pujol-Mazzini, Thomson Reuters Foundation News

A campaigner against forced labour in Uzbekistan's cotton fields was arrested ahead of an international meeting where she was scheduled to give evidence on human rights violations, a human rights group said...In a video recording published online, the veteran activist Elena Urlaeva said she was arrested on Wednesday, beaten by police and taken to a psychiatric clinic in Tashkent...Urlaeva was due to attend a meeting on Thursday with the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization of Trade Unions to discuss forced labour in the cotton industry.

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20 March 2017

Uzbekistan: Release Elena Urlaeva!

Author: International Labour Rights Forum

Please speak out today to demand the Uzbek government immediately release Elena Urlaeva!

To Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev:

I write to you today to demand the immediate release of human rights activist Elena Urlaeva, who was detained by Uzbek police on March 1, 2017, and is still being held against her will, undergoing forced treatment at a psychiatric institution. This is not the first time your government has attempted to silence Ms. Urlaeva for documenting forced labor in Uzbekistan’s annual cotton harvest. The timing of this most recent attack against her is transparently aimed at preventing her from presenting evidence to international observers from the International Trade Union Confederation and World Bank Group. Rather than attempting to hide evidence of your human rights violations, it is time you admitted them and worked with civil society actors like Ms. Urlaeva to improve your country’s adherence to its own laws and international standards. She must be released immediately and allowed to carry on her work.

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