In Turkmenistan, people who violated the mask regime, as well as debtors for household services and alimony, are forcibly sent to pick cotton and beets. Those who refuse to do so are beaten by the police with rubber truncheons. About it informs Turkmen service of Radio Liberty.
“Now in Bereketsky and Serdarsky etraps, citizens who are caught without masks, as well as owed money for electricity and gas, have arrears in alimony, are forcibly sent to pick cotton and beets. The police use violence against them, beating them with rubber truncheons to force them to pick cotton and beets. “, – the edition quotes the words of one of the witnesses.
Residents of the Balkan velayat told the correspondent of the Turkmen service of Radio Liberty that the local authorities want to report on the fulfillment of the plan for picking cotton at a government meeting in the coming days “through forced labor”.
However, this season, according to residents, there is practically no cotton in the fields. At the moment, only 21 percent of the plan has been fulfilled in the velayat, the newspaper writes, citing a source. The cotton harvesting season in the Balkan velayat this year began on 8 September. It is entrusted with the obligation to collect 10 thousand tons of cotton from 1.25 million tons throughout the country.
In addition, the Turkmen service of Radio Liberty reports that the Turkmen authorities are having problems with freight transport to transport the harvested cotton to collection points. Because of this, the authorities temporarily take private trucks from citizens and use them for transportation.
“The authorities simply tell the truck owners:“ if you want to live in this velayat, you have to help transport cotton. ”Not only are they not paid for their jobs, but they are not provided with diesel fuel,” one source shared with the publication.
He also said that the velayat leadership holds meetings every day after 11 a.m. with the chairmen of the farmers’ associations, at which they swear and insult those who have not fulfilled the plan.
The journalists were unable to get a comment from the administrations of the Balkan velayat, Serdar and Bereket etraps, as well as contact the police departments in these etraps.
Earlier, the Turkmen service of Radio Liberty wrote that in the Balkan velayat of Turkmenistan, police forcibly send labor migrants, registered people with alcohol addiction, prostituted women, and alimony debtors to pick cotton in the fields.
Prior to this, the publication had already reported that state employees were forcibly sent to the cotton fields. On August 24, journalists wrote that in the Lebap velayat, employees of the security regiment were attracted to pick cotton, and on August 27 teachers and high school students were also forced to sent in the fields.
August 30 correspondents reported that the authorities are forcing to pick cotton citizens who owe alimony.
In Turkmenistan, forced labor is used not only for picking cotton, but also for growing it. In August, RFE / RL’s Turkmen service reported that secondary school teachers in the Darganat Etrap had been sent to minting cotton.
International human rights organizations criticize Turkmenistan for the use of forced and child labor in cotton production.
According to the website of the Responsible Sourcing Network, by August 10, 2021, 138 global brands have joined the international campaign, signing a pledge not to use Turkmen cotton in the production of goods.