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Uzbek Student Stabbed To Death In Dispute Over Cotton Picking

Young people pick cotton during the Uzbek cotton harvest in September.
A university student in Uzbekistan's eastern Andijon Province has been stabbed to death, allegedly by a laborer who was hired to replace her during mandatory cotton-picking work.

An Andijon police official told RFE/RL on October 30 that 25-year-old Botir Yuldoshev has been charged with attacking Zulfia Akhmedova and her mother on October 25 after they reportedly refused to pay him.

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Akhmedova's mother is in serious condition in the hospital.

It is the 10th death to have occurred at mandatory cotton-picking sites in Uzbekistan in the last several weeks from a variety of causes, including suicide, electrocution, and a previous fatal stabbing.

Uzbek authorities have been criticized for coercing children to work in the cotton fields.

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In recent years, not only children but adults as well have been pressured to pick.

Many Uzbeks hire laborers to replace them in the fields.