Lobar Ashurova, a 28-year-old resident of the village “Pistakent” in Karshi district of the Kashkadarya region of Uzbekistan, died in the cotton field from internal bleeding. The young woman was picking cotton instead of her mother, who works as a nurse in the regional hospital for tuberculosis.
The tragic incident occurred in one of the cotton fields in the village “Gulistan” in the Mubarek district of the Kashkadarya region. According to one of the eyewitnesses interviewed by Ozodlik, Lobar Ashurova’s health deteriorated during her stay in the fields, but nonetheless for three entire days the young woman was not provided with any primary medical assistance:
“Lobar collected cotton in the 30th state farm in the Mubarek district. The young girl felt unwell and went to the field camp. Despite her deteriorating health, Lobar was not allowed to go home. She laid in the field camp for three entire days, suffering from internal bleeding. Finally, she was taken to the emergency. Lobar had to undergo surgery, but she died right before the operation began” said the source of Ozodlik.
According to one of the relatives of Lobar Ashurova, who died in the field, the girl went to pick cotton instead of her mother, Gulbahor Sherovoy, who works as a nurse in the hospital for tuberculosis in the Kashkadarya region:
“After divorcing from her husband, Lobar had been living with her parents. The hospital management decided to send my sister Gulbakhor to pick cotton. However, her daughter Lobar decided to leave her two children with her mother and go herself to pick cotton with overnight stays. This tragic event occurred on the ninth day of her stay in the cotton field. No one gave her medical assistance, even though almost all of the cotton pickers were doctors. If Lobar had been taken to the hospital on time, now her two children would not be orphans”, told anonymously one of Lobar Ashurova’s relatives to our reporter.
According to Kashkadarya doctors, Lobar Ashurova passed away on September 20. According to a forensic report, the cause of her death was internal bleeding.
Currently, the Mubarek district prosecutor’s office is investigating the death of 28-year-old Lobar Ashurova.
According to information received in the Kashkadarya Regional TB Hospital, 150 workers of this medical institution have been collecting cotton in various fields of the Mubarek district since September 12.
Four victims during the 2017 cotton campaign
Lobar Ashurova is the fourth victim of the current cotton campaign in Uzbekistan, announced Ozodlik.
On September 19, the 2-year-old Abdulla died in the kindergarten Nr. 43 in the Uzbek region of Fergana. A cauldron filled with hot food capsized on the child. Her mother, Abdulla Gulnara Rahmonova, working as a cook in this preschool institution, at that time was collecting cotton instead of her mother-in-law.
On September 16, a 58-year-old resident of the city of Andijan, Muzaffar Umrzakov, died in the cotton field while picking cotton instead of his wife, who was working as a cleaner at a local school. The man had a heart attack while he was carrying the harvested crop to the trailer.
On the same day, the 39-year-old activist of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan, Gulzad Tajibaeva, died in Sharaf-Rashidov district of Djizak region. The woman got under the wheels of the bus while she was returning from the cotton field.
On September 19, speaking at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyayev stated that the country will stop sending children to the fields and deploying forced labor. Three days after this announcement, the chiefs of Uzbekistan, students, doctors and teachers were massively called back from the cotton fields. However, “Ozodlik” reporters affirmed that Uzbek authorities still continue sending representatives of various professions to pick cotton.