Forced Evictions In Uzbekistan: Families At Risk, Case Of Olga Abdullayeva – OpEd
Unlawful forced evictions have formed a widespread pattern of human rights violations in Uzbekistan for many years, depriving thousands of people of their property and driving them into poverty and homelessness.
AHRCA and IPHR monitoring shows that the Uzbekistani authorities continue the practice of forced evictions, working under the influence of private enterprises – and often with interference of the regional government structures (Khakimyat – the municipality) in the proceedings.
The following case of Olga Abdullayeva illustrates the arbitrary and illegal nature of court decisions to annul the registration of private property rights and seizure of private property, the dependence of the judiciary on local power structures, intimidating means used by powerful companies to pressure owners of apartments to sell against their will, unfair trials when people try to defend their right to own property, and the injustice of inadequate offers of compensation.
Olga Abdullayeva was one of the first victims of illegal demolitions and appealed to the public for support, using national and international remedies. Defending her interests, she began to blog about her fight on her Facebook page and describe each stage, making suggestions to other people in a similar situation. On 10 February 2023, she received the decision of the Supreme court (last instance), which rejected her request for the restoration of her right to property, of which she was deprived under illegal grounds.
This case deserves the attention of investors and investment companies as it illustrates the risks and consequences of the lack of guarantees to private property in Uzbekistan.
Recommendations to Uzbekistan:
- Uzbekistan should comply with its international commitments, including those to the right to private property under the framework of the EU GSP+ trade scheme.
- Uzbekistan should protect the right to adequate housing and take steps to restore justice to Olga Abdullayeva.
- Uzbekistan should carry out evictions only as a last resort, once all other feasible alternatives have been explored and and in compliance with international standards, inter alia to carry out genuine consultation with the people affected, give reasonable notice, making all plans transparent and informing all those affected, providing alternative housing, compensation and access to legal support.