An increasing number of women in rural areas of Uzbekistan appear to be giving birth at home, due primarily to spreading concerns about forced sterilizations in hospitals, human rights experts say.
An Uzbek-based civil society activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says that Uzbek President Islam Karimov's administration is attempting to implement a forced-sterilization program as a means to manage population growth. "[The practice] is on the Republican level," the activist contended. "It started in the beginning of 2009, and by the end of the year took on a massive character."
"According to information from doctors in Tashkent, they were sent to the regions of Uzbekistan and had to make up to 12 laparoscopic [hysterectomy] operations per day," activist continued. "It was also reported that it was impossible to follow hygienic procedures for each operation if that many per day were done."
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Deirdre Tynan is a freelance journalist who specializes in Central Asian affairs.