Authorities carry out "anti-terror raid" at the home of a 76-year-old Christian woman suffering from Parkinson
Police raided her flat, breaking a window. The operation, characterised as "counter-terrorism" by the authorities, netted 15 religious books that were later destroyed. A huge fine was imposed on the old pensioner.

Tashkent (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Uzbek police raided the flat of a 76-year old Protestant woman who was charged with illegal possession of Christian books. For her crime, she was given a fine worth ten times the country's minimum wage.

Naziya Ziyatdinova lives alone in her home in Guliston, a town some distance from Tashkent. She has suffered from Parkinson's disease for some time and has difficulty walking.

A few weeks ago, National Security Service officers and members of Uzbekistan's secret police raided her home. During the operation, they broke a window and destroyed some Christian books.

In justifying their action, the authorities described the 11 am raid as "anti-terror cleaning".

Days after the raid, an Uzbek court imposed a 795,900 soms (US$ 380) fine on Naziya Zivatdinova.

The Protestant community has come to the defence of the woman, describing the behaviour of the agents as "criminal", and called on the authorities to shed light on the matter.

At present, Naziya receives a pension of 120,000 soms (US$ 58). If she had to pay the fine she would have to go without money for seven months.

Under Uzbek law, possession of any form of religious literature is illegal and the courts often order the destruction of religious material confiscated at homes.

Naziya Zivatdinova was in possession of 6 DVDs, a videocassette and about 15 books, including a Bible.