Uzbekistan government secretly sterilising women
An investigation by the BBC has revealed that women in Uzbekistan are being sterilised without their knowledge or consent.
Doctors say that the practice has been going on for about two years and may be connected to the increasing popularity of Caesarean sections, making it easier for surgeons to secretly sterilise the mother.
Officially, only 6.8% of women give birth via C-section, but a surgeon at a hospital near the capital Tashkent disputed this, the BBC reported.
“Rules on Caesareans used to be very strict, but now I believe 80% of women give birth through C-sections. This makes it very easy to perform a sterilisation and tie the fallopian tubes,” he said.
One suggested explanation of the sterilisation programme is that it is intended as a check on Uzbekistan’s growing population, which currently stands at about 28 million.
Uzbekistan has one of the worst human rights records in the world, and is particularly known for its widespread use of torture. This is often ignored by Western governments seeking to make use of the country’s strategic border with Afghanistan.
UK officials have already held talks with the Uzbek government on withdrawing UK military equipment from Afghanistan through the country, following the release of an activist.