© Simon Buxton / Anti-Slavery

“I am going to get imprisoned tomorrow for failing to pay a fee for the military reserve mobilization in advance. Where is the justice”

The following lines are taken from the Facebook page of one of the employees of a Uzbek state-owned company (translated from Uzbek):

“Attention, please. I am going to get imprisoned tomorrow for failing to pay a fee for the military reserve mobilization in advance. Where is the justice?

This is for real! Coming back from work, I found two letters in my mailbox. While in one of them I found obscure laws of Penal Code, the other was stating that I would be mobilized for a two-month period of non-paid cotton picking due violating the agreement.

The recruitment office demands a payment by the end of August, even though, according to the agreement, I am supposed to pay in November. THIS IS NOT FAIR…”

This man’s name is Doston. He is on my list of friends on Facebook. He works for Sirdardarya’s National Television and Radio Company. He lives in the city of Gulistan. I took the above quote from his Facebook page. As laid out, Doston has had to pay a fee of three or four million Som for his military recruitment.

Normally, the fee is paid in several rates over a fixed period of time. Having paid all, he would have to do his military service only for one month, instead of a one-year recruitment. However, Doston received the above-mentioned letters regardless of the fact that the deadline for paying the final rate for the military service was set for November of 2016. While the first letter contains indictments made on the basis of the National Penal Code, the second letter states that Doston was obliged to get mobilized for a two-month period of non-paid cotton picking. However, there is still some time until November. Noting his resentment, he obviously wanted to share his thoughts on Facebook as he could not endure such injustice. As we know, these kinds of letters are being sent to many addressees. The state authorities are seeking ways of sending out people for cotton picking by using criminal charges, different methods of threatening and causing panic and disturbance for a family.

This year’s cotton harvest is being strictly controlled, causing troubles and panic for people.