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Uzbek Activist Detained After Visit To Cotton Field


A rights activist has told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service that he was detained and interrogated by the security service after he accompanied a U.S. diplomat to see cotton fields in the Sirdaryo region.

A day after Wal-Mart announced its decision to stop buying Uzbek cotton in order to end child labor there, Richard Fitzmaurice, a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, met with activists and spoke with children in a cotton field in the Mirzoobod district.

Karim Bozorboev, an activist from Sirdaryo who accompanied Fitzmorris, told RFE/RL that the police were angered by Fitzmaurice took pictures of children in the cotton fields.

According to Bozorboev, their car was stopped for a half-hour before the police chief called somewhere and gave him permission to leave. Bozorboev was taken to the local department as soon as Fitzmaurice left. He was interrogated and threatened by Muso Rajabov, the head of the counterterrorism department

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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