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Human rights activist attacked over critical online publications

(CJES/IFEX) - Human rights activist Gulbakhor Turayeva was attacked by two unknown women on September 9, 2011, in Andijan. Turayeva links the attack to her critical publications on the Internet.

"On September 6, the Russian information agency REX published my article 'Andijan Drowns in Garbage.' I didn't expect them to beat me, threaten me with a knife, and attempt to kidnap my daughter over this issue," Turayeva said.

The activist was taking a walk near her house with her children when she was approached by two women, accompanied by two men. One of the women asked her if her name was Gulbakhor; when the journalist said yes, the woman attacked her.

"She got out a small knife, which looked like a scalpel, but I didn't let her hit me with this knife and started grabbing her by the hands and defending myself," Turayeva said.

Turayeva's husband heard the noise and ran to the neighbors' to call the police. Meanwhile, the women grabbed Turayeva's small daughter, apparently intending to take her with them.

"My neighbors came to the rescue by saying the girl wasn't my daughter but someone else's, and the attackers let the girl go," Turayeva said.

The attackers reminded Turayeva about the article about garbage and threatened to kill the activist and abduct her children if she does not leave Uzbekistan.

"An ordinary person would not have caused such a scandal over an article about garbage. No doubt, the local authorities and the police are behind this," Turayeva said.

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