© Simon Buxton / Anti-Slavery

“Second-year students assault us to forcibly make us pick cotton”

A student from Samarkand complained to Radio Ozodlik about problems arising due to cotton harvest:

“I am a student of the Samarkand State University. I am writing you to inform that there is a strict cotton-picking policy being carried out in the Pastdargom district of Samarkand. Students are forced to pick 80 kg of cotton per day. We are threatened to be expelled from our studies if we do not comply.

Teachers torment us by making second-year students assault and beat us. It is like in the military.

In addition to that, not even ill people are released from the mobilization to the cotton harvest. If someone has a certificate for medical exemption and cannot pick cotton, he/she is still forced to live with the others in the barracks”.