In the News

Uzbekistan: Harvest Monitor's Office Destroyed in Unexplained Fire

A leading campaigner in the effort to document Uzbekistan’s cotton harvest, which has been blighted by claims of rights abuses, has found his office destroyed by an unexplained fire. 
Activists monitoring the harvest have faced an unprecedented wave of intimidation from authorities this year, despite mounting international scrutiny of the sector.

Colibri Law Firm member attends US-Uzbekistan Annual Business Forum

The Lawyer
Colibri Law Firm’s UK and USA head of marketing and business development Zosia Demkowicz attended the US-Uzbekistan Annual Business Forum in Washington DC on Monday 19 October.
The forum was organised by the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce and hosted a delegation of high-level Uzbek officials, including the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, Elyor Ganiev, and the Uzbek Ambassador to the US, Bakhtiyar Gulyamov.

Uzbekistan accused of brutal crackdown on activists investigating forced labour

The Guardian
Human rights activists in Uzbekistan have reported increasing levels of violence and harassment by police and government agencies as they attempt to document the alleged use of forced labour in the annual cotton harvest.
Local activists said there has been an escalation in attacks on human rights workers and local residents, including beatings and intimidation, arrests and the subjection of female activists to humiliating and intrusive body searches.

Uzbeks Reportedly Forced to Glue Cotton Back Onto Bushes to Please Prime Minister

Vice News
Amid a sustained human rights campaign to end the mass forced labor surrounding Uzbekistan's annual cotton harvest, farmers in the eastern province of Ferghana are saying that they were enlisted to reattach picked cotton onto the bolls of bushes to feign a picturesque snowy-white landscape ahead of an anticipated visit by the country's prime minister, Shavkat Mirzayev.

Uzbekistan: Cotton Harvest Monitors Face Intimidation

Uzbekistan has pledged more transparency in a cotton industry blighted by a reputation for relying on child labor and press-ganging of unwilling individuals. Yet, authorities are hounding those trying to determine whether the government is keeping its word.
Doctors, teachers and even pop stars are among the hundreds of thousands of citizens believed to have been forced into the fields this year. But documenting the scale of the problem has been tough.