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Uzbekistan Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Uzbekistan Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Russian Translation

Uzbek Translation

Key Findings

With an estimated 13,500 religious and political prisoners, the government of Uzbekistan continues to perpetrate severe violations of religious freedom. In April 2016, the sections of the criminal and administrative codes used to restrict freedom of religion or belief were amended to increase penalties for various infractions. The Uzbek government continues to imprison hundreds of Muslims who do not conform to officially prescribed religious practices or whom it claims are extremist. The suspicion of terrorism was used to justify persecution of Uzbek labor migrants and their families, while Kazakh and Russian citizens were arrested at the border for possessing religious materials. Members of Protestant denominations were subjected to frequent harassment through raids on private homes, seizures of religious literature, and the levying of fines. Based on these systematic, egregious, ongoing violations, USCIRF again finds in 2017 that Uzbekistan merits designation as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). While the State Department has designated Uzbekistan as a CPC since 2006, most recently in October 2016, it has indefinitely waived taking any action as a consequence of the designation.