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8 November 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Haj pilgrims face state control, bribery, blacklists

Uzbekistan imposes severe restrictions on haj pilgrims, including using blacklists to bar devout Muslims, arbitrarily restricting who can go on the pilgrimage. Controls are complex and multilayered, involving the SSS secret police, the Muftiate, and the government's Religious Affairs Committee. The system's complexity facilitates corruption.

22 October 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Raids, eviction threat for Urgench Baptists

Police raided a Baptist church's Sunday meetings for worship in Urgench in September and administration and police officials threatened Pastor Stanislav Kim with eviction from his home. Although the local administration then orchestrated a hostile mob, the congregation has in October met without official interference.

14 October 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Muslim activist's sentence imminent?

The Prosecutor asked Tashkent City Court to give 48-year-old Tulkun Astanov a five-year suspended sentence, with a verdict expected on or after 18 October. The Muslim activist is being punished for visiting the state-controlled Muftiate to discuss hijab bans and other restrictions on freedom of religion and belief.

21 May 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Torture, no pardon, for prisoner of conscience

Officials tortured Muslim prisoner of conscience Khayrullo Tursunov over six hours in an attempt to extract false testimony and ridiculed him for thinking of applying for parole. A Shia Muslim jailed for having Shia texts has been given parole, but officials know of no legal Shia texts.

29 April 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Supreme Court challenge to student hijab ban

Two women are awaiting Supreme Court hearings in their challenges to the ban on female students wearing hijab in Tashkent's International Islamic Academy and its secondary school. The Academy expelled Luiza Muminjanova in 2018, while Abdukakharova was allowed back after appealing. The state created the state-run Academy in 2018 from pre-existing state-run Muftiate and state institutions.

25 April 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Muslim activist jailed for criticising Muftiate

Muslim activist Tulkun Astanov still faces criminal charges launched by the SSS secret police. He completed a 15-day jail term on 23 April, and was freed the following day. He was jailed the same day Deputy Chief Mufti Mansur accused him of being a "hooligan" and disrespectful to Muftiate "spiritual leadership".

11 February 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Imam forced to flee after freedom appeal

Imam Fazliddin Parpiyev fled Uzbekistan "for my safety" after appealing to President Mirziyoyev "as Muslims .. cannot have full freedom of religion and belief". Muslims are blacklisted for memorising the Koran for a state-run competition, and imams are rotated to stop them influencing congregations.

30 January 2019

UZBEKISTAN: Fined for giving New Testament away

Police searched a woman's flat in Bukhara to seize a New Testament Shukhrat Safarov had given her. A court fined Safarov and ordered the book destroyed. The government's Religious Affairs Committee claimed that using the New Testament for "missionary purposes" is illegal.

29 January 2019

UZBEKISTAN: "Investigations" don't stop police illegal actions

In Urgench and Namangan Region, Protestant Christians complained about police raids and house searches without warrants, as well as police pressure on individuals to sign fabricated statements. "Investigations" in both places found no police wrongdoing. Instead, church members face possible punitive measures.

5 December 2018

UZBEKISTAN: "Illegal Christian Wahhabi activity"

Police raided Protestants enjoying a meal, searching the home without a warrant, confiscating a New Testament. Officials tried to pressure one guest to accuse the host and the pastor of holding "unauthorised religious meetings", threatening to take her two children and ordering her mother-in-law to beat her.

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