Leading rights defender confined to 'psychiatric treatment' for seeking to expose forced labour in Uzbekistan's cotton fields
UPDATE: Elena Urlaeva was released on March 24 after 23 days of forced psychiatric 'treatment', a success for the international campaign.
Elena Urlaeva, head of the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan and outspoken critic of forced and child labor in Uzbekistan's cotton sector, was detained by police on March 1 to prevent a scheduled meeting with representatives of the International Trade Union Confederation and the World Bank, at which she planned to discuss the problem of human trafficking in Uzbekistan. She was forcibly committed to a psychiatric clinic for "treatment", where she remains today.
Urlaeva's forced confinement is the latest episode in a long history of state repression against activists working to expose forced and child labour in the cotton sector, where over a million citizens are forcibly mobilized to harvest cotton each year.
The IUF, the International Cotton Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum are calling for the immediate release of Elena Urlaeva. CLICK HERE to send a message to the government!