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Uzbek Student's Relatives Seek Justice Over Cotton Harvest Death

  • RFE/RL's Uzbek Service

Relatives of an Uzbek university student who died at a compulsory cotton picking site have filed a lawsuit with the regional prosecutor's office.

Shamsiddin Bobosaidov's relatives say the 19-year-old was beaten to death by older students who were trying to force him to work in their stead.

Bobosaidov died on October 2 in the eastern Syrdarya Province.

His death was one of at least 19 reported during the cotton-picking campaign this year in Uzbekistan, where many students and state employees are forced to help bring in the harvest.

Officials in the provincial capital, Guliston, told RFE/RL that the prosecutor’s office had officially registered the request by his relatives on October 20.

Prosecutors rarely accept complaints related to deaths or other incidents during the cotton harvest.

Uzbek authorities have been criticized for forcing citizens to work against their will in the cotton fields.