Uzbekistan – ELENA URLAEVA, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan

Elena Urlaeva is a human rights activist and member of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan who has been a vocal critic of the policies of the Uzbek government for many years. In 2001, she led efforts to defend the rights of individuals who lost their homes due to a road-building project. As a result, in April 2001 she was detained and forcibly committed to a psychiatric hospital. International pressure led to her release 2 months later. Since then she has been repeatedly subjected to months of psychiatric treatment. Elena Urlaeva has reported that during these instances of forced treatment she was given strong psychiatric drugs without her consent. Even though she has been released the medical authorities have declared her incapacitated and appointed a Guardian to act on her behalf. Elena Urlaeva is currently challenging the legality of this decision through the courts.

«The authorities in Uzbekistan use punitive psychiatry as a means of repression.

In Uzbekistan, a country with an authoritarian regime of government, a law was adopted on psychological assistance which is often used as an instrument to suppress those with different opinions and often as punitive psychiatry to persecute human rights defenders.

Human Rights defender Elena Mikhailovna Urlaeva, born in 1957, was held on the 6th of April 2001 by members of the Mirzo-Ulugbekskii police in the city of Tashkent, when she was on her way to a picket in the centre of the city with her mother.

Members of the police force illegally placed Elena Urlaeva in psychiatric hospital number 1 in Tashkent, in the 4th division, headed by the psychiatrist Kapitollina Petrovna Budyakova. In the hospital she was subjected to severe violence and forced treatment from medical personnel. Elena Urlaeva was given psychiatric drugs including Triftazine, Aminazine, Sulfazine and others, over the course of three months. Elena Urlaeva was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and paranoia syndrome. On the 10th of April 2001 Judge S.N. Shakhabutdinov in the Mirabad court took a decision on forced in-patient treatment for 1 month. On the 20th of September 2001 Judge A Khalikov took the decision to prolong this forced treatment.

On the 26th of August 2002 Elena Urlaeva was held by members of the police force in Tashkent at a picket in the centre of the city. They illegally placed her in psychiatric hospital number 1 in Tashkent in the 17th ward, where for four months she was forced to take neurological and psychiatric medication. During her time in the psychiatric hospital she was visited by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Theo van Boven.

On the 18th of March 2003, the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia in Moscow decided that there was no basis for the treatment of Elena Urlaeva On August, 27th, 2005 Elena Urlaeva was detained by members of the police force in Tashkent, and placed in the Republican psychiatric hospital RUZ in the sixth branch headed by Tavsei Balievna Shaikova. A criminal case, approved by the public prosecutor of the Sergeli region of Tashkent, Detective Dzhamalov, was also begun. For four months violence and forced treatment was used. On the 30th December 2005 Elena Urlaeva was released.

In total she was subjected to forced treatment for eleven months in psychiatric hospitals. Due to the punitive psychiatry Elena Urlaeva has endured damage to her physical and mental health, her sight worsened and her teeth were damaged.

In 2006 through a decision by judge Mirzadzhanova of Sergeli regional criminal court Elena Urlaeva was prescribed compulsory out-patient treatment.

On August 24th 2006 judge F.A. Makhmudova of Mirabad civil court under an application of the public prosecutor of the Mirabad region to declare Elena Urlaeva as legally incapacitated, passed the decision to declare Urlaeva as incapacitated and to appoint a guardian for her.

At the moment Elena Urlaeva and her lawyer are appealing the court’s decision on her incapacity.»


March 9th 2001 Press Center of Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan Attempt upon the life of HRSU’s worker Elena Urlaeva HRSU has previously informed about persecution of our workers. Unfortunately, someone decided to use drastic measures against HRSU. This night there was an arson of the flat of Elena Urlaeva, while she and her family… Continue reading 01.03.09-ELENA URLAEVA

OSCE: On Uzbek Human Rights Defenders Elena Urlaeva and Azam Farmonov: Statement to the PC

The United States would like to draw attention to two human rights-related cases in Uzbekistan. The United States is deeply concerned about recent reports that respected human rights activist Elena Urlaeva was detained and subjected to an unnecessary and humiliating search by local authorities in the city of Chinaz, Uzbekistan, on May 31, 2015. While… Continue reading OSCE: On Uzbek Human Rights Defenders Elena Urlaeva and Azam Farmonov: Statement to the PC