The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Uzbekistan Criticised for Continuing Rights Violations

By: for Forum 18 News Service (Norway) on Aug. 16, 2008

Aug 15, ENGLAND, UK (RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE) — In its survey analysis of religious freedom in Uzbekistan, Forum 18 News Service has found continuing violations by the state of freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Amongst many serious violations - which breach the country's international human rights commitments - non-state registered religious activity is a criminal offence, as is the sharing of beliefs and meetings for religious purposes in private homes.

Religious communities are raided with impunity and their members threatened, assaulted and even tortured. Prisoner of conscience numbers are increasing. The state continues to actively promote religious hatred and intolerance through the state-controlled mass media.

They add that members of religious communities complain that trials are often conducted unfairly. Oppressive laws are symptomatic of oppressive official attitudes, and state officials do not appear to acknowledge any restraints on their actions.

Forum 18 News Service says that the state seeks to completely control all religious activity - by Muslims and religious minorities such as Christians, Baha'is, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews and Hare Krishna devotees- through a web of laws, NSS secret police agents, censorship and the activities of public agencies such as local administrations.

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