Tuesday, 22, October, 2019

People were forced to perform construction works in Jush village (the native village of Erkinjon Turdimov, the Samarkand province governor) in Kushrabat district in the Samarkand province as part of Obod Qishloq (Improved village) program, the infrastructure improvement state program launched by the President Mirziyoyev. According to Ozodlik (Uzbek service of Liberty Radio), only the employees of budget–financed organizations and those who get child and jobless aids were forced to perform the said works.

Those who refused to work could see their social aids be canceled. The authorities ordered to turn Jush, one of the most remote villages in the Samarkand province, into a developed village before the year-end.

Improved Village is the state urban improvement program, according to which 3 villages in every dictrict of very province in Uzbekistan are included in the state’s annual improvement program. And by the end of the year the improvement works in every village should be completed. With barely any funds allocated by the central government, the local authorities have to get themselves out of the situation with shortage of funds and labour. And they are not allowed to discuss the orders from the central government, and Tashkent cares little about the lack of resources, they want the orders to be excuted. So the local authorities have little of a choice than to attract the free manpower.

Jush villagers forced labour

At the beginning of the year, only the employees of budget–financed organizations were mobilized. And now thousands of locals are also being forced to work against their will. Those who refuse risk to lose their jobs, and those who get pension, child or jobless aids could see those aids cut, says one of the residents of Jush village.

According to another source, police officers and chairmen of makhallas go to the homes of local residents to mobilize them to work at one of the many construction sites.

- All of the people are forced to work, even the old. People come out of their homes with shovels. Police officers put them on buses and take them to the construction site. Thousands of men and women were mobilized to the construction work, says one guy from Jush village.

Jush villagers forced labour 3

Women are being taken to the construction site with their young children. In one of the photographs, you can see an elderly man, and on another - a little girl standing next to a woman.

As residents of Jusha say, the governor of the Samarkand province, Erkinjon Turdimov is personally supervising the construction works in his native village.

- All senior officials of the province and districts are now in the village. During a recent meeting, Erkinjon Turdimov ordered that each official to bring all the unemployed and those who receive aids from the state.

“We do not have enough funds to perform construction works on our own. Therefore, the people will have to contribute to the construction,” he said.

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