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Highlighting Religious Freedom Problems in Uzbekistan for the UN

7/23/08 Uzbekistan (Becket Fund for Religious Liberty) – Uzbekistan continues to place restrictions on religious freedom and religious expression in public under President Islom Karimov, according to a report filed at the United Nations by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty July 21, 2008.

“Despite constitutional guarantees and international agreements ensuring religious freedom, Uzbekistan under President Karimov has for the last decade treated religion as a security threat and has placed undue restrictions on the practice of religion in the public square. The passage of new legislation in 1998 and changes to the Penal Code have placed greater restrictions on religious associations and individual rights to education, proselytism, and religious dress,” said the Becket Fund in the Uzbekistan report.

The Uzbekistan report focuses on a 1998 law that placed greater restrictions on the public expression of religion. The report also highlights legal problems with the Uzbekistan Constitution and Penal Code, and emphasizes the effects such oppressive laws have had on religious discrimination.

The report was filed as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a newly created process at the United Nations by which the human rights records of all UN member states are regularly examined through a common review process. The Becket Fund previously submitted a report to the UPR on religious freedom in India, France, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Read the full report on Uzbekistan here.