Aug 102009


UZB 006 / 0809 / OBS 116

Arbitrary detention / Harassment


August 10, 2009

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Uzbekistan.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention of Mr. Farhodon Mukhtarov, an active and long-standing member of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan.

According to the information received, on July 18, 2009, Mr. Farhodon Mukhtarov was arrested at the District Prosecutor’s office as he was in the premises to submit a statement and a complaint against illegal actions carried out by police officers and investigator Boymatov. The Prosecutor decided indeed to report his visit to the police station, which came to arrest him directly at the Prosecutor’s office. Mr. Mukhtarov was then brought to the Yunus-Abad police station.

As of issuing this urgent appeal, Mr. Mukhtarov remained detained but no information could be obtained as to his place of detention nor as to the charges that would be held against him[1].

At the end of May 2009, Mr. Mukhtarov had already been briefly detained after a complaint had been reportedly filed against him by another Uzbek citizen, apparently for fraud, under Article 168, Part 2, paragraph A of the Uzbek Criminal Code. However, the authorities had refused to let him view the complaint.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern about Mr. Farhodon Mukhtarov’s arbitrary detention, and believes that these acts of harassment actually aim at sanctioning Mr. Mukhtarov’s human rights activities. The latter had already been arrested in 2006 and later released following the mobilisation of the Human Rights Alliance and diplomats, and that his flat had been tentatively arsoned at the end of 2008 Continue reading »

Jul 162009

Ms. Navi Pillay
High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations
Geneva/ Switzerland

Subject: Human rights situation in Camp Ashraf-Iraq

Dear Ms. Pillay
Since January 1st, 2009, when the protection of Camp Ashraf in Iraq has been transferred from US forces to the Iraqi government, the international community is faced with an increasing anxiety over the violation of the most basic rights of 3500 people in Camp Ashraf who 1000 of them are women.  Ashraf is home to the members of the Iranian opposition, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).
Following the Iranian regime’s supreme leader called imperatively on 28 February 2009, on Iraqi government to implement their bilateral agreement to expel PMOI members from Iraq as quickly as possible, the concerns and worries have escalated. In this regard, the Iraqi authorities have threatened to attack buildings in Ashraf and are insisting to displace residents of Ashraf to remote locations in Iraq against international law. Amnesty International has in particular expressed its concern over the statement by Iraqi National Security Advisor who confessed,” The authorities are planning to make their presence in Iraq gradually intolerable “. Continue reading »

Jun 122009

TODAY is World Day Against Child Labor!

This year is especially important because 2009 marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

Find out more about World Day Against Child Labor on ILRF’s website here.

ILRF has a long history of working to stop child labor. We continue to support international conventions in addition to national and local legislation to reduce the worst forms of child labor and ensure that all workers’ rights are protected. Keep reading to find out:

What ILRF is doing to stop child labor

What YOU can do to stop child labor

This week, ILRF Executive Director Bama Athreya is in Geneva at the International Labor Conference, the ILO’s annual gathering. ILRF helped to organize an event yesterday about the continued use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry. The event featured speakers including Kailash Satyarthi of the Global March Against Child Labor as well as many other leading figures from human rights and labor organizations, government officials and companies.  The agenda from the event is available online here.

The event in Geneva comes less than a week after ILRF released a new report detailing how forced child labor continues to be used in the most recent cotton harvest in Uzbekistan. Additionally, Uzbek human rights advocates just released a new call for an international boycott of Uzbek cotton.

Jun 112009

Only a boycott of Uzbek cotton can convince the
Karimov regime to stop forced child labor in this country!
An open letter from Uzbek civic activists to:
· The European Union
· The United States Administration
· Companies importing cotton, textiles,
and cotton products
· International Executive Committee of
Cotton, Textiles, and Cotton Products;
Bremen Cotton Exchange; Gdynia
Cotton Association
· World Bank
· Asian Development Bank
· United Nations Human Rights Council
· International Labor Organization
· European Bank for Reconstruction and
· The Government and Citizens of
· Those concerned about human rights
in Uzbekistan
June 3, 2009
· Despite ratifying International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions, Uzbekistan
continues to use forced child labor.
· Uzbekistan does not reinvest the proceeds from its cotton exports into cotton
producers and the rural areas where it is grown, but siphons it into the hands of a
small group of the country’s ruling elites.
· World Bank and Asian Development Bank loans to Uzbekistan’s agricultural sector
have not led to genuine reform. Uzbekistan’s continued reliance upon a command
economy paves the way for loans to go into the hands of the ruling elite. Activists are
calling for international financial instruments to lend to the Uzbek agro-sector only
on a conditional basis, to encourage the reforms that would free Uzbek farmers
from the tyranny of a corrupt regime.
· Activists are calling for a boycott of Uzbek cotton. They call upon companies
importing cotton, in particular the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre , as well as
retailers, to adhere to the principles of corporate social responsibility
· The international community should not take at face value mere spoken or written
commitments made by Uzbekistan, but should demand actions demonstrating a
complete end to the practice of forced child labor that can be verified via an
independent monitoring during the cotton season.
· Activists call on the U.S. government and the EU to take steps to prevent their
markets from being penetrated by products bearing traces of forced child labor. Continue reading »

Mar 252009
Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and Gulnara Karimova
25.03.09 10:54
Chopard and Guli blood diamonds – Uzbek human rights activist Abdujalil Boymatov has urged Chopard jewellery and watch company to reconsider its relations with Gulnara Karimova and plans to promote the Guli brand in order to avoid association with blood diamonds.

Boimatov said he sent a letter to the company in which he expressed his bewilderment about its cooperation with the Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova. Continue reading »