Uzbek slavery in Kazakhstan
Business and Economics, Kazakhstan, Politics and Society, UzbekistanOne Comment
Translator’s Note: Translated from Jamil’s post (RUS).
On March 14, 2011, Mukhiddin Khojimuradov suggested to his compatriots Khairulla and Sunatullo Yuldashevs from Chinaz region of Tashkent oblast that they move to Kazakhstan’s city of Turkestan, where they could earn decent money. When the four young men reached the place, the only job they were offered was at the car washing station; their employer refused to pay for their labor, reports the Initiative group of independent rights activists of Uzbekistan (IGIRAU). They never signed contracts and their passports had been taken away; they had effectively become slaves, who were constantly beaten and forced to work each day from 7am to 10pm.
The four men all used to sleep in a small room with only one metal bed on the concrete floor. One month later, Sunnatullo fell ill, but their employer’s son (who had previously been charged for murder and was now in control of the slaves’ work) forced him to pledge that he would send another three Uzbeks in return for his own freedom. With no other option left, Sunnatullo and was released. According to Yuldashevs’ sister Gulnoza, the other three were released three weeks later. The four men have since spoken about dozens of other deceived countrymen from Chinaz, who had been recruited by the above-mentioned Mukhiddin Khojimuradov and were enslaved in Kazakhstan.
In the beginning of May 2011, Gulnoza, a member of the Yuldashev family, asked the Chinaz department of the National Security Council for help. The officer named Sukhrob, gave Gulnoza a dictaphone so she could record all her talks with militia, prosecutor, judges, the region’s local authorities and healthcare workers. She managed to do both audio and video recordings and passed everything to them. IGIRAU reports that Gulnoza appealed to Gen. Shavkat Ismailov of the Chinaz regional militia office, the prosecutor of Chinaz region Gairat Mukhamedov, and local authorities’ representative Davron Teshaboev. However, instead of investigating the issue, they started bullying the young woman. The district militiaman Nurjan Sadirov even threatened to exterminate her family if she dared to spread information about the practice of recruiting and enslaving people in Kazakhstan.
According to Surat Ikramov, the chairman of IGIRAU, it all became clear that every official in Chinaz has their interest or share in the recruiting business. They actually receive monetary dividends, and file such crimes under article 183 of the administrative code of RepUz. By May 2011, Gulnoza had already been threatened by the Investigator of the Department of Internal Affairs of Tashkent Akrom Mirsodykov.
Gulnoza believes that the main executor of the fabricated court case was the judge of the Chinaz rayon Criminal Court, B.D. Miralimov, who had immediately demanded that she withdrew all her appeals. The judge destroyed all the documents in front of her and threw them in her face. Right activist Surat Ikramov remarked:
“Corrupt security forces, judges and local authorities keep supporting illegal recruitment of Chinaz rayon’s citizens abroad. As for the victim Sunnatulla Yuldashev, he had to spend nine months in hospital.”