Since September 20, educators living in the city of Buka (Tashkent region) are sent every day at 6 am to pick cotton in the remote fields of the Buka district. The city and the regional department of public education happen to be the organizers of the forced mobilization of workers of the educational sphere.
From interviews with the teachers it came out that Muhammad Asimov, head of the city department of public education, made clear that teachers shouldn’t dare complaining to anybody, and that, in case of an inspection, they should claim to be residents of the Mahalla and to be picking cotton on a voluntarily basis.
On September 23, 2016 at 9 am Malokhat Eshonkulova and Elena Urlayeva visited the Professional College of Consumer Services in the city of Buka. A college employee said that on that day 45 employees left for the cotton harvest. Then, a woman, who was clearly working for the school administration, came out of a room, and started to call someone on the phone. Activists Malokhat and Elena had to leave immediately.
Human Rights Alliance press release
September 24, 2016 Tashkent