24 May 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  •    - Kazakhstan
  •    - Kyrgyzstan
  •    - Tajikistan
  •    - Turkmenistan
  •    - Uzbekistan
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 12/13/2014, 00.00

    UZBEKISTAN

    Uzbek state media campaign against freedom of worship and religion



    Official newspapers pursue a campaign against religious communities and believers, such as Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses. One of their accusations is that the latter "turn children into zombies". Victims of slander have no chance to reply. In one case, defamatory articles led to four Christians losing their job.

    Tashkent (AsiaNews/F18) - Uzbekistan's official state media continue their campaign against religious communities and believers, targeting in particular Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses.

    According to Forum 18, a news service committed to documenting violations of religious freedom in Central Asia, various articles and editorials have appeared, attacking people who demand the right to religious freedom. What is more, victims are denied the right to reply to articles that contain unsubstantiated slanderous and defamatory content.

    In one particularly telling case, a judge fined religious believers based on false information found in a number of articles. More generally, newspapers like to allege that those who practice faith use brainwashing techniques to "turn children into zombies".

    Attacks by media and the press in Uzbekistan are so commonplace that they appear to be part of a strategy by Uzbek authorities to undermine religious freedom and worship, whether by individual believers or entire communities. This strategy, experts explain, is aimed at controlling society.

    Inaccurate or false reporting and the impossibility for victims to reply against attacks have created a culture of impunity for government officials and their acolytes.

    Government censorship of all sources of information, including the seizure and ban of texts and other material somehow linked to faith or religious freedom, underpin the situation.

    The latest cases of press attacks against religions occurred in the last two months, involving two different Baptist communities, the Church of Eternal Life, and a group of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    In one case, Forum 18 reports that on 13 November, the 12news newspaper published several defamatory articles about Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses whose only fault was to demand the right to practice their religion.

    Before that, another newspaper, Oltin Vodiy, had attacked four members of a Protestant community in the region of Navoi.

    Calling them "lost souls," it compared the four to the characters in a movie in which a Muslim couple goes through all sorts of mishaps after converting to Christianity.

    After the article came out with the names and addresses of the four Christians, they lost their job, local Christian sources said.

    In a country where Sunni Muslims constitute 88 per cent of the population, and Christians make up 8 per cent, government restrictions on religious freedom are a normal feature.

    Under Uzbek law, it is illegal for example to possess religious literature "if it is extremist and incites hatred". At the same time, courts often order the destruction of material seized in private homes after hearing the "learned" opinion of "experts" who tend to define all books on religion as "extremist".

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    23/08/2008 UZBEKISTAN
    In Tashkent meeting at home to pray is a crime
    The state appoints imams, chooses what goes into religious education and decides who can and who cannot go to Makkah. Non-Muslim groups are hard pressed to be recognised. Jehovah Witnesses can get two or three years in jail just for getting together.

    06/07/2012 UZBEKISTAN
    After four years in prison, Uzbek Jehovah's Witness gets another 30 months
    Abdubannob Ahmedov was set for release on 23 July but was convicted on unspecified charges of violating prison rules. A Baptist woman could also get three years in prison for "illegally reaching religion." Uzbek authorities continue their crackdown on religion.

    21/06/2010 UZBEKISTAN
    Uzbek authorities force Christians, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, to go underground
    Church members and religious groups complain that the state does not authorise them to operate on the basis of pretexts or by silently ignoring them. Without a permit, even meeting to pray can be punished. After many years, the Central Protestant Church is still fighting for its rights.

    15/01/2010 UZBEKISTAN
    Tashkent: heavy fines and prison terms for Christians
    Police persecute Christians even during Christmas. Fines often are worth years of wages and repeat offenders can go to prison.

    14/06/2012 UZBEKISTAN
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan Jehovah's Witness risk expulsion
    The woman forced to abandon her mother, ill and in need of care, on alleged irregularities relating to citizenship. In reality it’s because of their faith. In the past year they have been sentenced twice to heavy fines. Christian Baptist also targeted by the authorities.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution

    Sergio Ticozzi

    The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.


    CHINA
    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®