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The right to believe, to worship and witness
The right to change one’s belief or religion
The right to join together and express one’s belief

UZBEKISTAN: Police agent provocateur used to entrap Muslims

A police agent provocateur tried to get four young men interested in Islam to support terrorism. After this failed, Tashkent City Criminal Court jailed three of the men for between five and six years. Despite telling the Court that their "confessions" were extorted by torture "this was totally ignored". Another trial of eight men is underway on similar charges at the same Court.

UZBEKISTAN: Despite coronavirus lockdown officials continue literature raids

The authorities are using a new March Criminal Code Article 244-5 ("Dissemination of knowingly false information about an infectious disease") against a surgeon in Karakalpakstan because he had Muslim religious texts on his computer. Many Islamic texts face a new ban, raids for religious literature continue, and import bans on non-Muslim texts continue.

UZBEKISTAN: Obstacles, pressure, bribe demands obstruct legal status applications

Officials gave permission to exist to some religious communities in late 2019, but many others complain of official obstacles. Some cannot get Land Registry or Mahalla approval, others face demands for bribes. Seven Jehovah's Witness communities were rejected. Catholics await registration for a sixth parish. Police pressured Shia Muslims in Bukhara to halt a petition to reopen a closed Shia mosque.

UZBEKISTAN: Haj pilgrims face state control, bribery, exit ban lists

Uzbekistan imposes severe restrictions on haj pilgrims, including using exit ban lists 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.

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.

UZBEKISTAN: Muslim human rights defender'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 human rights defender is being punished for visiting the state-controlled Muftiate to discuss hijab bans and other restrictions on freedom of religion and belief.

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.

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.

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".

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 placed on watch lists for memorising the Koran for a state-run competition, and imams are rotated to stop them influencing congregations.

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.

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.