Jun 132013


Human rights activist Sevara Boymatova picketing in front of maternity hospital Toi-tepy in Tashkent region

12.06.13 20:18

Midwives working the fields rather than delivering babies

Human rights activist Elena Urlaeva was beaten by the police on 10 June for picketing in the Tashkent region for return of the medical workers from the cotton fields to their places of work.

A Urta-Chirchikskiy district police officer dressed in civilian clothes twisted the famous activist’s arms and beat her, while expressing the strong desire to slit her throat.

According to Urlaeva, she was detained and beaten after she and her colleague Sevara Boymatova attempted to organize a picket in front of the maternity hospital in Toj-tepy village in the Tashkent region.

Urlaeva and Boymatova visited the cotton fields in Urta-Chirchikskiy district on 10 June and discovered that dozens of medical workers have been forced by the local administration and police to weed cotton fields instead of doing their proper jobs at the hospital.

According to Urlaeva, they witnessed dozens of local medical workers, including those from the maternity hospital and local clinic, working with hoes in the fields of the former collective farm Kim Pen Khva.

According to the medical workers themselves, they have been taken to the fields during work hours and also during their days off, since April.

Midwives from Toj-tepy maternity hospital complain, “we deliver newborns but our hands are filthy

Doctors of Urta-Chirchikskiy district with human rights activist Sevara Boymatova

from the field work.”

“If you write about this in the Internet – I will kill you!”

As soon as the activists started their picket in front of the maternity hospital, someone called the police, who showed up promptly.

Police officers forced both activists into separate cars and took them to the Urta-Chirchikskiy district police station.

Urlaeva was taken to the second floor to a “senior person’s office”, a major.

While the major was relatively civil in his interactions with Urlaeva, an officer in civilian clothes, who showed up later, flew into rage after he recognized the famous activist.

“He was particularly upset when he discovered that I had already called the American embassy,” tells Urlaeva.

According to Urlaeva, he beat her with his fists and kicked her, while shouting: “How did you end up here? Who tipped you off?”

He later held the edge of a clipboard against her throat and said, “If I had permission I would love to slit your throat.”

At the same time, fellow activist Boymatova was forced to write a “confession” that she was paid to participate in the picket.

However, Boymatova, being the daughter of famous human rights activists Abdujalil and Salomat Boymatovy, stoically refused to sign.

They were set free at 5.30 pm, thanks Urlaeva believes to the phone call she made to the American Embassy.

However, not until the aggressive police officer in civilian clothes had a chance to promise her, “if you write about this in the Internet, I will kill you.”

Urlaeva, who sustained bodily injures, was not intimidated. She reported what happened to the phone service “02” and the crisis hotline at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Yesterday morning she went to police headquarters and Tashkent region prosecutor to demand a criminal investigation against this “guardian of order”.


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