A mother of Babadjanov journalists working at the ‘Ozodlik’ radio (the Uzbek service of Radio Liberty) was subjected to boorish insults from people unknown to her. Seventy-five-year-old Shukurjan Madrahimova lives in her own house in the area between the cities of Khiva and Urgench. On 18 April, she became the target of attacks from several women and one man who broke into her house and caused a brawl.
One of the Babadzhanov brothers - Shukhrat, who lives in Prague, told about it to ‘Fergana’ by phone. According to the journalist, who openly criticized the authorities of Uzbekistan, his mother had never been subjected to such insults before.
Shukurjan Madrahimova with one of her sons – Kudrat Babajanov
‘Our mother says that she has never experienced anything like this in her whole life. She is dumbfounded, shocked by these insults. These people, who attacked her, shouted that her sons are ‘traitors to their homeland that dishonoured Uzbekistan.’ And all this because of the Pregnant at 15: School and Doctors Hid the Rape of the Student article which we published on 4 April on our website. The attackers themselves stated about it openly,’ says Shukhrat.
The children of Madrahimova do not know who organised the persecution of an elderly woman. ‘Maybe it is someone from the teachers dismissed following our publication, who tried to hide the fact of the rape of the schoolgirl. But it does not seem that it is a personal initiative. Moreover, the situation around the girl who had become pregnant after the rape was discussed in the khokimiat (administration) of Khiva district of Khorezm region. Most of the authorities were displeased with the fact that the fact of rape seeped into the press,’ says Shukhrat Babadzhanov.
The husband of Mudrakhimova, Rajabboy Babadzhanov, passed away in 2014. Three of their six children became well-known journalists: Shukhrat and Khurmat work in Prague on the ‘Ozodlik’ radio, while Kudrat lives in Sweden and edits the ‘Eltuz’ site.
Next day Madrahimova who is retired wrote a complaint to the virtual reception of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. She demanded to investigate the incident and find the attackers. The application is registered on the portal under the number ‘178068ee77’.