Violence Against Migrants: Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan Appeal to Russia

Regarding the mistreatment of labor migrants who were made to walk like ducks in Yekaterinburg, the ombudsman of Uzbekistan filed an appeal with the ombudsman of Russia. The number of them who were Uzbek citizens was not stated. A case was started “at the level of Russian federal authorities” by Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On January 17, workers at a construction site in Yekaterinburg, Russia, were forced to walk like ducks during a raid by representatives of the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Rosguard, and the Prosecutor’s Office. Approximately 150 people’s documents were examined during the raid. Which country or countries they are citizens of is unclear.

Ombudsman Feruza Eshmatova of Uzbekistan appealed to Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova of Russia about the unfair treatment of labor migrants in Yekaterinburg. The press office of the parliamentarian’s human rights representative released this information on January 22.

In the petition, it was asked that the rights of Uzbek nationals employed in Russia be upheld.

Online images and videos depict security personnel compelling migrant laborers to hide as they navigate a snow-covered construction site.

The number of migrants who were Uzbek citizens was not stated. There were reportedly also citizens from other nations, including Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the republic’s general consulate in Yekaterinburg paid a visit to the police, the center for temporary detention of foreign nationals, and construction sites on January 20.

“It was discovered that three construction sites in Yekaterinburg had 150 foreigners’ documents examined, among them were 40 Kyrgyz citizens. There are no known instances of Kyrgyzstani citizens breaking the immigration laws, according to the report.

According to the information provided by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, three of the migrants who were forced to walk like ducks were Kyrgyz.

According to the message from the neighboring country’s MFA, the Consulate General of Kyrgyzstan is taking action to “organize the verification of the legality of the use of methods that degrade the dignity of citizens engaged in labor by law enforcement officers”.

The statement from the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs states, “In light of this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic is initiating a case at the level of the federal authorities of the Russian Federation in order to prevent such actions against citizens working from Kyrgyzstan”.


Times of Central Asia

Askar Alimzhanov graduated from the journalism department of the Kazakh State University named after S. Kirov, then worked as a correspondent for the daily republican newspaper Leninskaya Smen. He then moved to the United States to be a reporter for the daily newspaper "Cape Cod Times" in Hayanis, Massachusetts, (USA) under the journalist exchange program between the Union of Journalists of the USSR and the New England Society of News Editors. Since then, he has helped build transparency and understanding of Central Asia region in various executive level positions at esteemed media organizations including "Akbar"(Alma-Ata) international center for journalism, the Khabar News agency, the Television and Radio Corporation "Kazakhstan" JSC, and MIR- Kazakhstan.

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