A 57-year-old khokim of the Ulugnor district of the Andijan region of Uzbekistan, Asilbek Yusupov, died on October 6. According to several independent sources of the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights (UGF) in the Andijan region, the hokim suffered verbal abuse during a meeting on the collection of cotton. Immediately afterwards he was taken to hospital.
An employee of the Ulugnor district administration told a UGF monitor in an interview that the district had not fulfilled the established plan for collecting cotton due to rain, and that the district head was under constant stress and feared the region’s leadership.
“Everyone says that Abdurakhmonov, the leader of the Andijan region, caused his subordinate to have a stroke and that he died because of public insults. All because of the plan for cotton. Now that the students have been recalled, we are trying to attract the local population, non-working young people, to the cotton harvest, but in recent days it has rained and the district could not fulfill the established plan. We cannot be held responsible for bad weather”, said the Ulugnor district administration employee in an interview with the UGF monitor.
Radio “Ozodlik” interviewed a farmer who attended the same meeting about the cotton harvest that took place on October 3. He said that during the meeting the khokim of the Andijan region, Shukhrat Abdurakhmanov, scolded and insulted Asilbek Yusupov with obscene words which the Radio declined to quote, “out of ethical considerations.” The “Ozodlik” reporter called Shukhrat Abdurakhmanov for comment, but Abdurakhmanov said that he was in a meeting and switched off his phone.
The deceased hokim, Asilbek Yusupov, had been appointed head of the district in February 2017.