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Uzbek Woman Sets Herself On Fire, Dies Protesting Eviction

A single Uzbek mother of two has died after setting herself on fire to protest being evicted from her house in the eastern Uzbek city of Namangan.

Gulandom Dedabaeva's relatives told RFE/RL on October 1 that the incident had taken place on September 29 when local authorities came to evict her from the house she bought in 2018.

The 35-year-old Dedabaeva poured gasoline on herself and made a 13-minute statement accusing local authorities and a court of illegally taking her house from her before igniting the fire.

Although the flames were extinguished, Dedabaeva sustained severe burns and died hours later in a local hospital.

Earlier in June, a court in Namangan ruled that Dedabaeva paid money for the house to a person who in fact was not the owner of the property but a relative of the real owner.

The court also said that the person who "sold" the property to Dedabaeva had used forged documents saying that he was the owner.

The court then ruled that Dedabaeva must pay $12,700 to the real owner in three months and placed her under house arrest for four years and two months for "illegally" purchasing the property.

After Dedabaeva refused to pay the sum, saying she had already paid $13,000 for it, the authorities arrived on September 29 to evict her.

In recent years, there have been several self-immolation acts performed by Uzbek men and women to protest evictions in different parts of the country. Many of the acts have resulted in the deaths of the protesters.