In late December, the blogger Nafosat Ollashukurova was released from the Khorezm province psychiatric clinic and returned home to Tashkent. She was forcibly kept in the clinic from September 26 to December 28. Nafosat Ollashukurova was arrested on September 23 during a live Facebook broadcast of the walk from Khorezm to Tashkent of the journalist and poet Mahmud Rajabov and his relatives for an appointment with the Minister of the Interior. On the same day, she was arrested and was sentenced to 10 days-administrative arrest. She was placed in a psychiatric clinic, after she declared hunger strike during her arrest.
On January 10, Nafosat Ollashukurova gave her first interview to the Uzbek service of the BBC after returning to Tashkent, in which she spoke about the conditions of detention in the psychiatric clinic and her current state. She said that she did not feel secure and fears she could re-placed to the clinic, adding that she was not going to give up and would continue the human rights activism.
“I mainly covered the protests. Some “big men” were not obviously pleased by that. For this reason, I was under constant surveillance and pressure.
According to Nafosat Ollashukurova, due to the “inhuman attitude of the police,” she went on a hunger strike while serving the administrative arrest. After that, she was forcibly placed in a psychiatric clinic. “I don’t want to eleaborate on the details, they violated my rights. Both physically and psychologically,” she said.
“In the clinic, there really was some kind of treatment. But they didn’t tell me which medicines they were giving. They forced me to take them, and made forced injections.”
“The place where I served the administrative arrest was not ideal, but it was better than the clinic. It was impossible to eat the clinic’s meals. They would put turnips to every meal.”
“In addition, there were problems with water. Water was given on certain hours. There was no hot water. Cold water was given in the morning - two hours, in the afternoon - two hours and in the evening - two hours. There was no soap or shampoo.”
“Never have I or my family members had ever a psychiatric condition.”
“Due to the fact that I covered Rajapov’s campaign (it was reported that he had brought into Uzbekistan the books of the opposition leader Muhammad Salih, who lives in Turkey), They also wanted to make up as if I had links with Salih. In addition, they demanded that I testify against Muhammad Salih. When they failed to achieve this, they put me in a psychiatric clinic. ”
“I started blogging when I was still working as an English language teacher. A year ago, there were more threats, I was fired from school because of my blogger activities. After that, I was only keeping my blog. How did I earn my living? There were some grants. From which organizations? Let their names remain secret.”
Nafosat Ollashukurova claims that she was still under pressure, and feared that of being put in the psychiatric clinic again. “I am not feeling secure. I am still in danger. The Ministry of Health officials came on January 6 and 7. I had to change my place of residence. ”
“I was not prescribed medication after I left the clinic. I was told that I should be constantly visiting the clinic for check-ups and medicines. But I am not, because I am healthy. I was not examined elsewhere, because I healthy for 100%, people around me agree with me."
On January 6, in a Facebook post, Nafosat Ollashukurova recalled that at a press conference on November 16, the chief psychiatrist of the Ministry of Health, Levon Ambartsumov emphasized that her mental condition was temporary and not a chronic disorder.
“In addition to blogging, I will continue my work in the field of human rights. Am I afraid that this will happen again? If one is afraid of something or somebody, one should stay home. Honestly, I’m not afraid of threats.”
“In order to protect myself, to restore my rights, I am willing to appeal to international organizations. I also intend to file a complaint to the prosecutor’s office against police officers who treated me inhumanly. ”
“I think that the actions of those very police officers were directed by the police itself. I am not in a position to say that their position on the freedom of speech is that of the whole republic. Who is not interested in the freedom of speech? The local authorities, mayors, policemen, so that the public does not get to know about their illegal actions.”
“The lack of freedom of speech is not in the interest of the president. The more free the people are, the more freely they can express their thoughts, the better the policies will be. Because the more you point to, say, the mayors’ wrongdoings, the more they will try to rectify them, the less they will violate the laws. This will facilitate the public administration.”
“I appeal to the people not to fall into the fake news about me. I want the people to believe that I am healthy indeed. I want you to support me. That’s all I want to ask.”