Saturday, May 20, 2017

Uzbekistan: Government enforces deportation, fines, Bible and Koran seizures


In Navoi in April, police raided a Christian family, seizing religious literature and other items. One officer told the home owner she may be fined.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Forum 18 News
By Mushfig Bayram | May 17, 2017

A Russian was deported with no court decision and home-owner fined after police raided a Tashkent Christian meeting. Officials told a Muslim seeking back her seized Koran manuscript that police cannot be prosecuted. Tashkent Airport customs seized pilgrims' Korans. A court ordered New Testament texts destroyed.

In early April, a Russian Protestant was deported back to Russia with no court decision to punish her for attending a Christian meeting in a flat in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent. Police raided the meeting, seizing Christian books and other items, possibly with information from an informer. The home-owner was fined.

Police officers and customs officials frequently seize individuals' religious literature, claiming it is "illegal".

A Muslim woman in Kokand is still campaigning to get back a valuable centuries-old Koran manuscript seized from her in 2006 which Court Bailiffs claim was "lost" after being stored in a safe. Officials told her the Police Investigator who originally confiscated the "lost" manuscript cannot now be brought to trial.

In Navoi in April, police raided a Christian family, seizing religious literature and other items. One officer told the home owner she may be fined.

In Urgench, police search the bags of a local Christian at the market, seizing a copy of a booklet with three New Testament letters. In late March a judge fined her and ordered the New Testament booklet destroyed.

In Nukus in March, a Judge fined a local Protestant for having Christian materials in his home when police raided it. He ordered the book and discs confiscated.

At Tashkent Airport in January, customs officers seized Korans and other Muslim literature from pilgrims returning from Mecca.

On the land border with Turkmenistan in May, customs officers stopped two visitors from Turkmenistan from leaving Uzbekistan after they discovered Christian materials – including the Bible – in their mobile phones. The two women were fined and then had difficulty leaving the country as their Uzbek visas had by then expired.


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