23 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/12/2006
UZBEKISTAN
Religious persecution in Uzbekistan going from bad to worse
Government seeks total control of Muslim majority and wants to rid the country of other religions. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the army massacre of defenceless civilians in Andijan.

Tashkent (AsiaNews/Forum18) – Religious freedom continues to be violated in Uzbekistan as the government seeks total control over religion. According to art. 8 of Uzbekistan's Religion Law, only registered religious groups can engage in any religious activities, but more often than not, registration is never granted.

Many groups that have applied to be registered are still waiting for approval. For them, even a simple prayer in a private home is dangerous. Participants in such illegal activity can be fined under art. 240 of the Uzbek Administrative Code (this year fines increased tenfold) or incarcerated up to 15 days. Under art. 216-2 of the Criminal Code, proselytising is also punished with prison sentences varying from six months to three years.

With Muslims constituting over 90 per cent of Uzbekistan's population, the authorities see Islamic radicalism as a reason to keep a lid on Islam and the population. Fearing Islamic radicalism the government has used state media and a network of secondary and higher educational institutes to train state-appointed imams, who are nominated and replaced at the whim of the authorities although the law does not allow it. Even Friday prayers must be approved by the Muftiate, the government-controlled Islamic religious leadership.

Non-state controlled mosques are not registered and so must operate as social clubs, libraries, museums, like during Soviet times.

Non-state controlled religious education is forbidden. Violators can be fined or even imprisoned.

State Islamic educational institutions are keen to ensure that students are politically loyal to the President, using means such as asking applicants questions to test their political reliability.

Many Muslims are incarcerated on charges of belonging to radical or banned organisations or simply for meeting to pray or discuss God.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Andijan massacre, when the army fired on unarmed demonstrators, killing hundreds.

No one has been charged for the crime, but hundreds of people have been tried and sentenced for "organising" subversive demonstrations.

Since May 2005 a wave of repression has hit anyone involved in religious activities.

"It is clear that the majority of Muslims arrested after the Andijan rebellion were 'guilty" only of meeting to read the Qu'ran and talk about God," said Ikramov of the Human Rights Initiative Group of Uzbekistan.

But Muslims are not the only one suffering. However numerically insignificant other religions may be, the government does not simply want to control them; it seems bent on restricting them if not altogether eliminating them.

In the north-western region of Karakalpakstan Christian, mostly Protestant, groups are not allowed to worship or engage in any activity, except for the Russian Orthodox parish in the regional capital Nukus. The anti-Christian campaign has gone so far as threatening children to get them to renounce their religion

In March and April, Jehovah's Witnesses have also come under attack with government agents disrupting religious functions.

"When Christians meet in private apartments for discussion, the authorities see them as potential terrorists. Since the events in Andijan the number of raids by police on private apartments owned by Christians has risen, as has the number of arrests of believers," Iskander Najafov, a lawyer for the Tashkent Protestant Church. (PB)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/22/2009 UZBEKISTAN
Bible and Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ banned in Uzbek region of Karakalpakstan
09/20/2004 UZBEKISTAN
Two female students thrown out of university because they are Christian
05/15/2008 UZBEKISTAN – KYRGYZSTAN
Three years after the Andijan massacre torture and manhunts continue
12/30/2005 KYRGYZSTAN – UZBEKISTAN
Kyrgyzstan under pressure to repatriate refugees to Uzbekistan
05/28/2009 UZBEKISTAN – KYRGYZSTAN
Islamic extremism on the rise again in Central Asia

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.